KARACHI: Forming committees is not a solution to the challenges Pakistan's financial capital faces, MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said Tuesday.
It was reported last week that the federal and Sindh governments had agreed on forming a committee comprising representatives of the city’s three main stakeholders — the ruling PTI, PPP, and the MQM-P — to address the metropolis' longstanding civic issues.
A meeting was held in Islamabad, which was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Education Minister Saeed Ghani, Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Federal Minister Asad Umar, and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar.
Shah, the information minister, had confirmed that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairperson Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal was also present in the meeting.
The participants had reportedly discussed Karachi's problems compounded by the recent torrential rains and decided on working together to resolve these issues, which are affecting the daily lives of the city's residents.
Speaking on the matter in a press conference today, MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said: "Karachi's issues can neither be solved from Islamabad nor Larkana."
'Sabotaging' committee discussions
Hassan demanded an empowered local bodies system in light of Article 140-A of the Constitution to address Karachi's problems. His party, the MQM-P, had decided to convene an all parties conference (APC) to discuss the city, its problems, and matters related to Pakistan's stability.
He also slammed Sindh chief minister for "sabotaging" the discussions on the committee.
CM Shah had said in a press conference Monday he would not share powers with anyone. The idea of a committee was discussed but there was no formal agreement, he had added.
The MQM-P leader said the Sindh government had divided the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) into many parts. "You have established the Karachi Development Authority and Sindh Building Control Authority. No development took place in the city," he noted.
"The youth of Larkana cannot blame the MQM. Whenever PPP is held accountable it misguides the youth," he said in response to the criticism on his party.
Speaking of the idea of the committee on civic issues, Hassan said the MQM-P party acted as a bridge between the traders' fraternity and the government.
The provincial government spokesperson, Senator Murtaza Wahab, had earlier claimed the committee would comprise the PTI's federal ministers Asad Umar and Ali Zaidi and IT and Telecom Minister Aminul Haque of the MQM, besides Sindh chief minister and provincial ministers Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani.
"The committee will see that development work is carried out smoothly in the city and remove obstacles in this regard," Wahab had said.
He had said the Sindh leadership was always willing to work with others for improvement in the province and that the problems could be resolved if both the governments worked together.
Later, in a video message, Nasir Shah had welcomed the approach of the three parties to work together, boasting that Sindh, including Karachi, had made record progress under the leadership of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
Shah had said Bilawal had inaugurated development projects worth "billions of rupees, not seen in any other province of the country".
He further claimed the PPP government would welcome any individual or party willing to work for Karachi's progress, saying the government of Sindh had welcomed an initiative by its federal counterpart and the NDMA when it came to cleaning the city's drains.