Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Sunday accused the Sindh government of creating obstacles in Centre-funded development projects in Karachi.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) office in Shah Faisal Colony, Umar said that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah did not consider Karachi as his own.
Despite the obstacles, the federal government will continue the development projects in the metropolis, he added. The minister said that upcoming local body elections will be held under a new system in the metropolis, adding that elected members of Karachi should not be left at the mercy of the provincial government.
“The local body system in Sindh does not meet the spirit of the Constitution. The local government should have all the powers but that’s not the case in Karachi,” he added.
The federal minister — who was accompanied by PTI lawmakers Firdous Shamim Naqvi, Jamal Ahmed, and Adeel Ahmed — said the ruling party “considers Karachi as our own and you [the PPP] do not, so we are working” on the various development projects.
“We will continue to work here,” he said, lamenting that when the federal government tried to work in Sindh, obstacles were put in its way. “The local government system in Sindh does not meet the spirit of the Constitution. “The local government should have all the powers but that’s not the case in Karachi. Provinces [usually] seek help from the federation. “The provincial ministers and the chief minister step up with promises but the powers have not been transferred yet,” the minister added.
Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), which serves as the monitoring body related to the coronavirus pandemic, underscored that the ruling party and its Karachi-based coalition partner has approached the country’s top court over the aforementioned issue as well. “The PTI and the MQM have filed a petition in the Supreme Court regarding the local government powers,” he said, adding that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah “does not consider Karachi as his own”.
The federal minister noted that development work was underway in Karachi and that no one could hold leaders accountable better than the people themselves.
“Elections will be held under the new system, which empowers people,” he mentioned, adding that the political families would not have any say under it. “This will be the Naya Pakistan!”
Naqvi, the PTI lawmaker, echoed Umar’s comments, saying five months had passed since the local government system ended but the Sindh leadership was not announcing a date for the transfer of powers.
“There is no mass transit system in Karachi,” he lamented but added that only “working together will resolve” the problems of Pakistan’s financial capital.