PML-N slams proposal to give Karachi in Centre’s administrative control

Karachi (HRNW): Joining voice against the proposed consideration by the federal government to take over the administrative affairs of Karachi by enforcing a constitutional clause with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday called it a “dangerous precedent” to divide the administrative control of any province and suspected that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in the Centre in fact aimed at rolling back the 18th Amendment. Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday, former Sindh governor and leader of the PML-N Mohammad Zubair said he was in agreement with the PPP leadership against the proposed imposition of Article 149 of the Constitution by the federal government in the name of uplift of Karachi, calling it an undemocratic and uncalled for proposal, which was not suitable in the current circumstances.

“We strongly condemn this approach and categorically reject any such proposal,” he said. “It’s a dangerous precedent. It would do nothing but divide Sindh on urban-rural grounds. I wonder [about] the way the MQM [Muttahida Qaumi Movement] was propagating this proposal. It’s the MQM which once blamed the PTI for snatching its mandate and now the same party is toeing the PTI agenda. The proposal is actually aimed at rolling back the 18th Amendment and provincial autonomy which no democrat would allow and accept.” He also questioned the role of PTI legislators elected from Karachi and criticised their silence over the proposed move as such measures would not only affect the PPP governance, but also bring their effectiveness to zero in the province. The former governor strongly criticised the Clean Karachi campaign of the federal government and called it just a media gimmick.

“Has anyone of you heard before that the government and its ministers are calling for donations to do any job for the people?” he asked while making a jibe at Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, who launched and led the campaign but hardly brought any change to the current state of cleanliness in the city. “The two areas of Karachi — Surjani Town and Baldia Town — have been turned into landfill sites after this campaign. Instead of any improvement, the situation worsened and Karachiites are now paying the price for electing the PTI from their constituencies.” He expressed his “surprise” over the approach of the federal government when it came to imposition of Article 149 of the Constitution for the uplift of Karachi referring to the situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the “provincial administration has failed miserably” while executing different projects.

“The PTI has been ruling KP for the last more than seven years,” he said. “The entire city of Peshawar has turned into rubble in the name of a BRT project. The people of the city have even forgotten the launch date of the project but that BRT is nowhere near completion. Should the federal government not make the same move for Peshawar where the provincial KP government has failed to prove its effectiveness?” He said when the PML-N government took power in 2013, Karachi was ranked one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It was the federal government’s resolve and strategy that it restored peace to the city, launched three major projects for Karachiites and kick-started industrial activities in the business capital.

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