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KARACHI: The Mutta­hida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has decided to go to court to get powers for local bodies to enable them to deliver and come up to the expectations of the people and to field its candidates across Sindh, including Lyari, in the next general elections.

These decisions were taken by the MQM parliamentary party, which met here in its chamber at the Sindh Assembly building on Tuesday.

The meeting, which was presided over by MQM parliamentary party leader Syed Sardar Ahmad and atten­ded by MQM MPAs, including Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Asse­mbly Khwaja Izhar-ul-Has­san, also considered organisational matters of the party and political situation prevailing in the country with specific reference to Sindh.

Elaborating the background of the decisions, Sardar Ahmad told Dawn that their party believed in participatory democracy.

He said that although the local government elections were conducted by the government on the order of the Supreme Court, powers were not transferred to local bodies (LB), therefore, the LB institutions were facing difficulties in delivering services to people.

He said that in Karachi and Hyderabad, despite induction of the local bodies formally, the elected representatives were unable to deliver on any account, including basic issues like water supply, health, cleanliness, transport or roads.

People who had pinned hopes on the local bodies institutions were disappointed as the situation, instead of improving, was worsening day by day. “On our part we are trying our level best to convince the Sindh government to empower the institutions but if we fail to get back powers of the local bodies, we would have no option but to go to court,” he said.

Earlier, briefing media-persons after the meeting, Khwaja Izhar said that now it was high time for the people of Sindh to get rid of the ‘blind, deaf and dumb’ rulers. He said his party had fielded its candidates from Lyari in the past and would also field its representatives in future, but one should see if the PPP would be able to field its candidates or not.

This time no one should expect from the MQM-P to reach any understanding, he said. He said UC chairmen were yet to get offices and the Sindh government was not serious about cooperating with the mayor in his cleanliness drive as even after 90 days of a deadline given by the mayor, the solid waste management appeared nowhere, while not a single penny had been released for the Karachi development fund.

‘Karachi being ignored’

Accusing the government of pursuing an ‘anti-Karachi’ policy, he said the city was being ignored. If the government did not give up its policy, the MQM would be compelled to give a call for staging a protest sit-in outside CM House.

Syed Faisal Sabzwari, who is deputy parliamentary party leader of the MQM-P, said the PPP government, instead of paying heed to solve public problems, was concentrating on the forthcoming elections.

Accusing the chief minister of taking over the powers of the mayor, he said the MQM-P had decided to approach court in this regard.

In reply to a question, Mr Sabzwari said police officials were playing a prejudiced role and the citizens were left at the mercy of street criminals.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2017