MQM-P disappointed by decision to implement Karachi package through Sindh govt

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The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Tuesday expressed disappointment that the federal government chose to implement the Rs1,100 billion Karachi Transformation Plan through the “corrupt” provincial government rather than opting for the local government of its allied party.

“If you [federal government] wanted to invest in the city then you should have invested through those who know the city,” said MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui in a press conference flanked by former Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar, party leaders Kunwar Naveed Jamil and Faisal Subzwari.

“If PM wanted to invest 1,100 billion then he should have done so through the elected local government,” lamented Siddiqui, whose party is an ally of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf at the Centre.

He said he doesn’t think the decision was made by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The MQM-P leader reminded that the country’s progress was linked through Karachi. He added that Pakistan has developed whenever MQM had gotten a mandate.

Siddiqui said that his party does not want to raise the question on the recently announced package for the city but hoped that it was implemented.

“Everyone has a right to benefit from Karachi’s [potential] but no one had ever given back,” said Siddiqui, asking what was the reason that PM Imran did not announce the Karachi package through the local government.

The MQM leader also expressed his reservation over the appointment of an administrator for Karachi after the tenure of the local governments ended. He also alleged that appointments were made in Sindh based on ethnicity.

“It is being proven that no one in Sindh will get education, jobs or development,” said the former federal minister. He also alleged that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party does not consider Sindh as a “single administrative unit”.

Karachi Transformation Plan

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had unveiled a massive Rs1,100bn, three-year development plan for the city, a week after torrential rains inundated roads and left many areas without power for days.

Addressing a news conference at the Governor House in Karachi, the prime minister said that the “historic” Rs1,100bn Karachi development package will cater to the city’s diverse problems ranging from water supply, to transport and solid waste management.

PM Imran said that he would have arrived in Karachi earlier but it was important to first decide on a structure to fix the city’s chronic issues.

“We have been put to another test,” he said, referring to the problems posed by the recent rains right after the government fought to contain the coronavirus pandemic and reported a decline in infections.

PM Imran praised the government for handling the pandemic well, saying that very few countries in the world had handled it like Pakistan had.

Delving deeper into the government’s coronavirus response, PM Imran said that following the same formula, his government had decided to constitute the Provincial Coordination and Implementation Committee (PCIC), which will report to the chief minister Sindh.

“It [PCIC] will include all stakeholders,” said the prime minister, adding that the army will play a big role. “In all the countries of the world the army is at the forefront of such situations as it is the most organised institution and the most capable.”