Sunday Jan 31, 2021
KARACHI: The PTI-led federal government is working on development projects in Pakistan's southern port city as it considers the metropolis "its own", Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said Sunday, claiming that its counterpart under the PPP in Sindh did not have the same views.
Speaking at the inauguration of the PTI's regional office in Shah Faisal Colony, Asad Umar said the ruling party "considers Karachi as [its] own and [the PPP] does not; therefore, the PTI is working on various development projects in the city.
Umar was accompanied by members of the Sindh Assembly, including PTI lawmakers Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Jamal Ahmed, and Adeel Ahmed.
"You don't consider Karachi as your own but we will continue to work here. When the federal government tries to work in Sindh, obstacles are put in its way.
"The local government system in Sindh does not meet the spirit of the Constitution. The local government should have all the powers but that's not the case in Karachi.
"Provinces [usually] seek help from the federation. The provincial ministers and the chief minister step up with promises but the powers have not been transferred yet," the minister added.
Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), which serves as the monitoring body related to the coronavirus pandemic, underscored that the ruling party and its Karachi-based coalition partner has approached the country's top court regarding the aforementioned issue.
"The PTI and the MQM have filed a petition in the Supreme Court regarding the local government powers," he said, adding that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah "does not consider Karachi as his own".
The federal minister noted that development work is underway in Karachi and that no one could hold leaders accountable better than the people themselves.
"Elections will be held under the new system, which empowers people," he mentioned, adding that the political families would not have any say under it.
"This will be the Naya Pakistan!"
Naqvi, the PTI lawmaker, echoed Umar's comments, saying five months have passed since the local government system ended but the Sindh leadership has not been able to announce a date for the transfer of powers.
"The city has fallen victim to the tyrannical Zardari party and the Sindh government is responsible for all the shortcomings," he said. "Karachi's problems have outgrown the province's problems over the past four decades.
"There is no mass transit system in Karachi," he lamented but added that only "working together will resolve" the problems of Pakistan's financial capital.