ISLAMABAD        -      The recent devastating rains in Karachi have created an opportunity for the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party’s government in Sindh to immediately join hands to resolve major problems being faced by people in the port city, official sources said on Saturday.

Also, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that the federal government, along with Sindh government, is moving to immediately act and resolve three major problems of Karachi. In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said these include cleaning the nullahs once and for all and dealing with encroachments impeding water channels; devising a permanent solution to the solid waste disposal and sewerage problems; and resolving the critical issue of water supply to the citizens of Karachi.

The Prime Minister said the whole nation feels the pain our people in Karachi are going through. However, out of this devastation and suffering, there is now a positive development.

A day earlier, during a National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting, Prime |Minister Imran Khan told the chief minister that he will be visiting Karachi next week. “I will sit with you to draw up a complete plan to help Sindh government,” the prime minister was quoted as saying by a statement released by Sindh CM House. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah thanked the prime minister for calling him and offering assistance. 

Shah said that Karachi had faced a “disaster” and added that rains had affected almost the entire Sindh province. In a related development on Saturday, President Arif Alvi while welcoming the development said that Karachi and the rest of Sindh will never be left alone. 

In a tweet, he said cooperation between the federal and the provincial government of Sindh is ‘a positive development. The President said this cooperation can do wonders not only during the current devastating crisis due to heavy seasonal downpour, but would also be helpful in the future planning. He said this cooperation will also be helpful during this devastating crisis and in making of Storm Drains, Sewage Treatment, Solid Waste Management, Fresh Water Supply and Transport in future.  

At least 80 people have been killed in Sindh, 47 in various rain-related incidents in Karachi. A day earlier, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto had said he hoped that the Centre will fulfil its “constitutional duty” and help Sindh’s economy get back on track. The PPP chairman also directed Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ramp up the ongoing relief activities in Sindh.

“The province should ensure timely relief to the people affected by the rains,” he had said, adding that a survey should be conducted to record the damage incurred to public and private property. The PPP chairman added that the repairing of roads should be concluded at the earliest and they should be reopened for traffic.

On August 16, the federal and Sindh governments formed a committee comprising representatives from the city’s three main stakeholders including PPP, PTI and MQM to address the city’s issues.

The development came after Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Education Minister Saeed Ghani and Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah met with Governor Imran Ismail, Federal Minister Asad Umar and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar in Islamabad.

According to the provincial information minister, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal also present at the meeting. It was decided that the three parties would work together to address the civic problems of the metropolis. 

Currently, Karachi and other parts of Sindh and Balochistan are reeling from three days of torrential rains that brought life to a virtual halt in many areas. The flooding of Pakistan’s largest city has also serious implications for the national economy. Ends