EXPO My Karachi Festival Event

Sindh Minister for Industries and Commerce Muhammad Ali Malkani welcomed the Karachi Chamber’s effort to promote positive image of the city through ‘My Karachi Exhibition’ and said that peace had prevailed in the city thanks to Karachi Operation under the supervision of Sindh government. The situation was much better as compared to what it was in the past when curfews, strikes, killings and other crimes etc. were a routine.
Although the federal government committed to grant billions of rupees when the Karachi operation started, it had not granted anything and the operation was being carried out from Sindh government’s own resources, he added, while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of 13th ‘My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony Exhibition 2016’ at Expo Center on Friday.
Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Sindh Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Authority Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro, vice chairmen Businessmen Group and former presidents KCCI Tahir Khaliq, Zubair Motiwala and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif, Chairman Special Committee for My Karachi, Muhammad Idrees, Vice Chairman Shamim Ahmed Firpo, former presidents KCCI AQ Khalil, Haroon Agar, Abdullah Zaki and Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra along with diplomats from numerous countries and KCCI managing committee members were also present on the occasion.
Referring to concerns expressed by the KCCI president over poor performance and lack of resources in police department, Muhammad Malkani admitted that the Sindh government was well aware of the issues and was trying to resolve the same.
He said the Sindh government had been struggling hard for its rights including the province’s right to its own resources and allocation of more funds by the federal government for development work. But unfortunately, he said, it seemed that the federal government was more focused on carrying out development work in Punjab only and had been ignoring Sindh. Despite limited financial resources, the Sindh government had undertaken development projects and they were standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the business community of Karachi and the people of Sindh, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Authority Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro stated that because of the sacrifices made by officials of law enforcement agencies the city had come out of disaster and it was high time to look forward and forget arguing over the past. “We have to make coordinated efforts to improve the image of Karachi and we have to struggle very hard for the rights of Sindh,” he added.
He said keeping in view the mammoth contribution of 65 per cent revenue by Karachi and also under the constitution of Pakistan, it was Sindh province’s right to demand enhanced share in income and resources which must be granted so that new development projects could be initiated across the province.
Referring to KCCI’s proposals for Sindh Budget 2016-17, the minister advised the KCCI to further discuss these proposals with Sindh government so that they could be better understood and incorporated in the forthcoming budget.
Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza said the Karachi Chamber had certainly exhibited patriotism by constantly promoting the positive image of Karachi through ‘My Karachi Exhibition’.
Referring to the Metro Bus Service and other development initiatives in Punjab, she said all these development works were being carried out as the federal government had been giving extraordinary attention to Punjab whereas Sindh was being ignored.
She said although the 18th amendment was passed to transfer powers to provinces but unfortunately many points in the Amendment had still not been implemented by the federal government. In order to ensure total implementation of 18th amendment in its letter and spirit, Shehla Raza sought business community’s support so that the federal government could be urged to fully implement the 18th amendment.
Businessmen Group Vice Chairman and former KCCI president Zubair Motiwala stated that drastic changes had been witnessed in the overall law and order situation of Karachi since 2004 when the KCCI started ‘My Karachi Exhibition’ which began from just two halls and had now expanded to all six halls of the Expo Center.
He said despite tough time the business and industrial community exhibited resilience by participating in the exhibition in order to promote the positive image of Karachi and tell the world that cowardly acts could not shake the business and industrial community of Karachi.
Zubair Motiwala was of the view that despite serious law and order issues in the past, the Karachi city continued to play lead role in the economic development of the country and the city had been contributing 65 per cent revenue – total contribution of Rs 2,000 billion to the national kitty.
The business and industrial community of Karachi was willing to contribute even more but the federal and provincial governments must ensure an enabling business environment which, if provided, will surely ensure progressive and productive Pakistan, he added. Earlier KCCI President Younus Muhammad Bashir, in his welcome remarks, said that ’13th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition 2016′ was a well-recognised and biggest exhibition of the country which reflected the true image of Pakistan.
He said this year’s exhibition had once again been staged in a glittering manner and it was an attempt to promote the positive image of Pakistan and Karachi besides clarifying many misconceptions about the overall security situation of Karachi.
He also paid glowing tribute to Sindh government, Rangers and police officers for restoring peace in the city by undertaking Karachi operation which had yielded positive results as far as the incidents pertaining to target killings, kidnapping for ransoms, demand for extortion and other heinous crimes were concerned. However, the issue of street crimes was still a very serious threat which needed to be effectively addressed, he said.
He was fairly optimistic that if due attention was given to Karachi, the city was capable of emerging as one of the most peaceful and secure cities of the world. Younus Bashir also underscored the need to devise a clear strategy focusing on ensuring long lasting peace in every nook and corner of the city. He stressed the need to implement across-the-board reforms in police department which will ultimately have to take control of the security situation of Karachi on successful completion of Karachi operation.
The first and foremost step in the right direction will be depoliticising police department followed by intense training, strict vigilance, provision of necessary gadgets, arms, ammunition, bullet proof jackets and vehicles and complete transformation of police stations as per international practices, he added.
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