‘No plan under consideration to create more districts in Karachi’

Karachi (HRNW): A senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader and provincial minister said on Sunday that no discussion at any official forum had so far been made regarding creation of more districts in Karachi, but there was a proposal to bifurcate West district to create a Keamari district. Recently, disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Dr Farooq Sattar, MQM-Pakistan and Pak Sarzameen Party leaders voiced their concerns over reports in a section of the media that the Sindh government was planning to create more districts in Karachi on ethnic lines and made it clear that they would resist any such a move.

“If the provincial capital could have two mayors, the province could also have two chief ministers,” MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had said while commenting on reports that the division of Karachi aimed at bringing two mayors, one for urban areas that fall in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the other for rural areas currently part of the District Council Karachi. When contacted, Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani told Dawn that neither any proposal was under consideration nor it came under discussion at any decision-making forums, including PPP’s parliamentary party or in the meetings of the Sindh cabinet.

He termed the reports and the opposition parties’ claim regarding two mayors for Karachi baseless. He said that soon after the claim made by the PSP and MQM-P leaders at their press conferences, it was officially denied but certain elements created confusion to pollute the political atmosphere further and divert attention of the people from the failed economic policies of the federal government. However, Mr Ghani said that at the level of district West once such a proposal was made to divide the district into two. “But it has never come under discussion at the official level or at the party forum.” Karachi has currently six districts — East, West, South, Central, Malir and Korangi.

In a response to a question, a spokesman for the Sindh chief minister told Dawn that some residents of Keamari that falls within district West had reportedly sent a proposal to the Sindh revenue department seeking bifurcation of the district. He said but it was never came for discussion or raised by any cabinet member at any decision-making forum. Besides, he said, a city could not have two mayors by creating more districts. Last week, a section of the media carried news that the Sindh cabinet was going to endorse a provincial government proposal to change the basic demography of Karachi by dividing it from existing six districts into nine districts and create posts of two mayors to run the rural and urban municipal set-up in the city.

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