March 13 , 2017
MQM has occupied Karachi’s vacant plots, parks, nullahs: PPP
Only PPP flags present on storm water drains, occupied parks, replies MQM
KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party leader Saeed Ghani on Sunday said that the Muttahida Quami Movement had a record of illegally occupying parks, playgrounds and storm water drains (nullahs).
The PPP leader stated this on Sunday while speaking at a press conference here at the media cell of the party where he strongly criticised the MQM. This was apparently a rejoinder to hard-hitting assertions of Karachi’s Mayor Wasim Akhtar. The mayor had cited severe lack of support and resources by the PPP’s provincial govtas a roadblock for him to ably discharge his municipal duties.
Ghani said the MQM had dominated Karachi’s municipal agencies for a long time and by taking advantage of this fact the party had recruited 60,000 ghost municipal workers. “The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board was made to hire 5,000 staffers even during the tenure of a caretaker government,” he claimed. “These ghost employees were not used to discharging their duties, but were in a regular practice of assembling at one place on the call of the MQM founder.”
The PPP leader further clarified his stance by adding that in the past, the MQM had occupied every plot that was found empty — no parks or storm water drains in the city were spared by the MQM. He said that Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar should first discharge the duties he was supposed to perform before talking about others’ responsibilities. “Wasim Akhtar should spare sometime to study the municipal act in order to get to know the authorities of a mayor,” he said. “Earlier, the mayor said that he would demolish the encroachments on the Gujjar Nullah. Wasim Akhtar should first explain that when these encroachments were made. Actually, we are the ones who demolished these encroachments on the Gujjar Nullah.”
He said that there was no issue related to the delegation of powers available to any other mayor or chairman (of district) in Sindh, except the mayor of Karachi himself. “We would not let him (Wasim Akhtar) become a hero by moving a no-confidence motion against him,” he said.
“He should do his work instead of covering up his incompetence.”He said that the MQM had demanded that powers should be devolved at the grassroots level. “We have given them (MQM) the powers and also established the solid waste management board for their help. However, the real issue is whether the MQM has been delivering or not given the powers it has been delegated,” he claimed. “It is an established habit of the MQM to exaggerate things so that people should start believing whatever they are saying.”
Ghani said that Wasim Akhtar didn’t even know that it was not the responsibility of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to do sanitation and cleanliness works in the city. “However, it is the responsibility of district municipal corporations (DMCs) to do sanitation and cleanliness work in the city,” he said.Ghani claimed that the Sindh government used to give Rs50 million grant to the KMC on a monthly basis. “The Sindh government has no intention to render these people jobless as issue of unemployment already exists in the province,” he said while referring to the supposed ghost employees of the city’s municipal agencies.
The PPP leader said that earlier hospitals and schools in the city were the responsibility of KMC but they were later transferred to the DMCs. He further said that the Sindh government was doing construction of roads in the city as earlier the same task had been performed by municipal representatives.
“We do acknowledge that we are at fault to some extent but it is supposed to be the worst example of incompetence that they have been holding the Sindh government responsible for the obligations they are supposed to fulfil,” he said. “The PPP would emerge as the largest political party of Karachi after the result of 2018 general elections.”
He said that the PPP would emerge victorious even from those constituencies of the city from where a certain political party used to win elections with wide margin of votes. On the other hand, he scoffed at the allegation levelled against the PPP.
Speaking on this occasion, PPP leader Waqar Mehdi said that the MQM should be held accountable for Rs300 billion given to them during the era of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. He said that Wasim Akhtar was politicking by exaggerating the facts regarding his powers as mayor. “The Pakistan People’s Party has decided that from now on, nobody would be allowed to take any briefcase to London,” he asserted in his closing remarks.
Meanwhile, the Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan has rejected the allegations of occupation of plots in Karachi. This was stated by the MQM Rabita Committee member Faisal Sabzwari, while addressing a press conference at the MQM-P office here on Sunday.
Answering these allegations, Sabzwari asked the PPP to go and do a complete survey on this issue. “They would only find flags of the PPP on storm water drains and occupied parks,” he asserted. “The Sindh government even failed to lift the garbage in nine years.”Sabzwari said that the PPP was alive just because of the shrines of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and
Benazir Bhutto. He said that those who were raising fingers on the performance of MQM-P were not even able to make a model union council in nine years. He said that the Sindh government had a budget of Rs1,000 billion but they still raise questions on our performance. He added that they gave jobs on merit basis, while the PPP ministers sold all jobs.
While speaking at the press conference, the deputy mayor accused the PPP of selling the entire Karachi beach. He announced that the Karachi mayor would go to the apex court for getting his due powers.