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MQM Chief, Altaf Hussain. — File Photo
MQM Chief, Altaf Hussain. — File Photo

KARACHI, June 28: In remarks made with totally unexpected though studied candour, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Friday made an impassioned plea to Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain to review his policy of giving strike calls in mourning against killings, arguing that a single Karachi shutdown causes an estimated Rs15billion loss to an already ailing economy.

Winding up the general discussion on the Sindh budget for the financial year 2013-14 in the provincial assembly, the CM added: “If there is a mistake on our part, we are open to dialogue, as all misunderstandings and issues could be sorted out through negotiations”.

He said that the Pakistan Peoples Party wanted to have cordial relations with the MQM and see it become part of the government but they themselves had opted to sit on the opposition benches.

Referring to the law and order situation, he said that the situation could be checked effectively provided the house sincerely supported the efforts of the government which, he claimed, was determined to curb the menace of terrorism.

Mentioning the shortcomings of the provincial government, he said that the inspector general of police and the chief secretary were the appointees of the federal government, whereas the province had no control over the Rangers. “We are training and developing police and the intelligence agencies.”

Clarifying an allegation about the budget being favourable towards the rural areas, he said: “Terming the budget as a rural budget was injustice with PPP, as the government spent Rs64 billion on urban development during the past five years and gave Rs500 million additional grant to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation for paying salaries to its employees without any inquiry and their job placement. Besides, a huge amount is being spent on the Lyari Expressway and Karachi Circular Railway projects.”

He defended a decision to increase the property tax and said that the urban lands were so expensive that he was ready to give his 50 acres of rural land for a plot of 800 square yards in Karachi.

About a demand made by the leader of the opposition about the local government system, he said: “Let the budget be approved. We can talk on the local government system which should be acceptable to all and in the interest of people.”

The chief minister almost touched on every issue raised by the opposition in the budget, including the issue of setting up a university in Hyderabad.

He said the government was making efforts to set up maximum educational institutes and the issue of setting up the university in Hyderabad could be sorted out with Senior Education Minister Nisar Ahmad Khuhro.

He said that the Jinnah Medical University was established in Karachi on a demand of the MQM and its vice chancellor was also appointed on their recommendation.

He said that Sindh’s Rs80 billion was outstanding against the federal government, which had promised to compensate by making seven per cent more than our share in the divisible pool in the coming budget.

It was the sixth day of the ongoing discussion on the budget and so far 119 lawmakers participated in the debate.

Operation against illicit weapon Earlier, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Syed Faisal Sabzwari highlighted the importance of the local government system and offered full support to the government to craft a new law which could deliver to the people if the Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012 was not liked by some people.

He said that for restoring peace in Karachi, a criminal had to be called a criminal, and illegal weapons be recovered through a merciless operation throughout the country and the MQM would have no objection if such an operation began from Karachi.

He said that all licensed arms should also be checked.

Mr Sabzwari said that the MQM had moved a bill for legislation in parliament to make the country weapon free.

He recalled that nobody took serious the statements of MQM chief Hussain about the presence of the Taliban in Karachi some five years back. However, repeated incidents of terrorism and the recent attack on Justice Maqbool Baqar of the Sindh High Court made it clear that he was right, he added.

He also called for setting up a university in Hyderabad for which a resolution had been passed in the house.

The opposition leader made out a strong case for a tax on agriculture income with exception to poor farmers.

He said that the government had done injustice by increasing property tax from 20pc to 25pc.

Demanding formation of the provincial finance commission at the earliest, he said that a sense of deprivation was being created among the people due to unjust distribution of resources and hefty expenditures.

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Comments (16) Closed

Sam Choudri Jun 29, 2013 07:55am

He is UK citizen. Send the Bill to UK government and this will stop forever.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jun 29, 2013 08:11am

Let MQM play a constructive role in Opposition and stop calling strikes every other day. Sindh needs peace for economic progress.

Muhammad Younus Butt Jun 29, 2013 09:14am

The Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan must take Suo Moto Actions over the wrong orders of MQM Altaf over the various dictations by him in the internal affairs of Pakistan particularly in Sindh. As Altaf Hussain no public portfolio and residing in so-called exile is misleading the innocent people of Pakistan He has no legal and logical status to dictate and target innocent citizens of Sindh.Altaf Hussain is not a Monarch nor any elected representative. Supreme Court must come forward and take necessary actions against him as he is disturbing and challenging the State vision of Pakistan and he must be stopped from doing these rubbish actions.His all actions are against the solidarity of Pakistan and India is behind him.

Muhammad Younus Butt Jun 29, 2013 09:17am

The SC must act on SUO MOTO against MQMAltaf Hussain as he has no right to play with the innocent lives of people .PLM N Government must also take stern actions against him.

aslam minhas Jun 29, 2013 10:36am

Talk and do somehting new Shah Ji. Your swansong is the same when you came the first time around 30 odd years ago. The fact is that you have no plan, no strategy and no will to do anything positive for the city or for the province. Let us say going by your stint of last five years, nothing better can be expected of you. Your party is on a jolly ride, now confined to Sindh. Enjoy your merry-go-round but going by the things, it won't last long. Remember, your elder bro gone lame soon will be date-expired and there is someone else now in place of that Afro hairdo who has already fired a warning shot. So your performance is on the anvil. Smell the coffee!

Aftab Kenneth Wilson Jun 29, 2013 11:11am

I totally agree with CM Sindh. I wonder why the leadership of MQM does not realize that their own voters are fed-up with these calls. Moreover majority close down their business only due to hidden threat which is known to all. They do have sympathy for their deceased workers but are not on the same page with these types of calls. It is time not to hurt economy and use some other peaceful means for any agitation. To strike where it hurts most must policy must be stopped.

Nazia Jun 29, 2013 11:24am

Let me remind the CM that strike calls are directly related to the killing of innocent people in Karachi. For the past five years nothing was done to mitigate violence and nothing will be done in the next five years except empty slogans and blame game. First bring peace to Karachi, there will not be any need for strike calls.

NK Ali Jun 29, 2013 11:41am

The CM of Sindh must not consider his abstract words sacrosanct under any stretch of imagination. The CM should first give introspection to his and the PPP's words and actions of the last five years. Unfortunately, this is not possible by for the PPP. Resultantly, the citizens of Karachi and the rest of Sindh can unhesitatingly accept the fact, that PPP is antiquated and regressive in its policies. This continues to bring immeasurable harm; and remains a fact that is evident everywhere in Karachi and the province. Let the separation continue. Salams

ash Mirza (USA) Jun 29, 2013 11:49am

I want to thank Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, ask MQM chief Altaf Hussain to review his policy to giving strike calls. Each day karachi shut down cost Rs. 15 Billion. and many daily earner cant even provide food to the family, Kids sleep without food. Also Pakistan ecconomy is not strong, many business people also suffer due to strike.I hope he stop giving any strike call from London Thanks again to Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, may God bless you, and people of Pakistan. Sincerely, Ash Mirza

RAJ KUMAR Jun 29, 2013 12:35pm

People don't understand what is the role of Altaf Hussain in MQM. He is not Pakistani national he is staying in U.K.

Govt. and Law should beared the media to publish his statement.

His attitude is negative for country.

Syed Hussain Akbari Jun 29, 2013 12:56pm

Yes, for the first time Mr. Qaim Ali Shah has spoken sense. BUT the question is how far dialogue with him will be credible. Mr.Altaf Hussain should really consider how harming are his strike calls. Besides industrial losses, there are educational losses for already effected and pushed back children. Is Mr. Altaf trying to endorse the desires of Talibans and Lashkar-e-Jhangvis ? I am certain he is not; but then he should deeply think and stop calling for strikes.

fawad Jun 29, 2013 12:58pm

Altaf Hussain has destroyed Karachi economy by giving strike calls. Think about daily wages workers what will they bring home?

Reader Jun 29, 2013 01:18pm

Why didn't any member of previous PPP govt raise this important issue before? Didn't they know how much the economy suffer everytime there is a strike? It's the poor people who suffer. The current PPP CM of Sindh now wants to take credit for raising the issue and all MQM supporters need to wake up and raise the issue with the exile so called leader of their party.

Hussain Jun 29, 2013 01:16pm

Hartal Hussain Bahi does not understands the basic economic behind strikes and effect on economy. He is making the life of Sindh and Karachi in particular miserable. He is totally out of touch with ground realities.

al Jun 29, 2013 05:18pm

The greater Karachi area should be declared a no strike area and penalties should be impose on those who call for strikes,The strikes are not solving any problems anyway as killings continue. MQM should find an alternate way to convey their protest.

TKhan Jun 29, 2013 08:04pm

"he was ready to give his 50 acres of rural land for a plot of 800 square yards in Karachi."

Any suckers out there for this deal? In actuality what he is saying that give me your 800 square yard plot in Karachi and you don't get an inch of my rural land. You dare,