KARACHI: Terming the Sindh Secretariat an “office of a commission agent”, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Sunday accused the Pakistan Peoples Party of massive corruption during its over nine-year rule in Sindh and claimed that it brought destruction to the province, particularly its capital Karachi.

In a tit-for-tat reaction to PPP’s Saeed Ghani’s press conference, MQM leader Faisal Subzwari told a news conference here that the PPP was still alive in Sindh because of the sacrifices of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, but the party did not spare a park named after Ms Bhutto and took kickbacks to execute projects.

He said that the Sindh government got around Rs1,000 billion in the head of the national finance commission award and it claimed to have spent around Rs900bn in the interior of Sindh. “But despite such a massive spending there is not even one UC [union committee/council] in Larkana, Shikarpur, Khairpur or Dadu where garbage has completely been lifted or clean drinking water is available to the people.”

Responding to the allegation of providing jobs to party workers, the MQM leader said that his party had given employment on merit and not like the PPP which had sold jobs. “None of our ministers, MPAs, MNAs or senators is facing allegation of selling jobs. But it was a senior minister of the PPP who was facing an accountability reference for selling jobs,” he said.

About another allegation that the MQM occupied plots meant for parks, playgrounds and storm-water drains, Mr Subzwari said that those who forcibly took over other’s industries and sugar mills were levelling false allegations against the MQM.

He said that the PPP destroyed Lyari infrastructure in its nine-year rule and this was the reason that it did not get even candidates to contest local government elections in seven of the UCs of Lyari.

He said that the Sindh government was controlling the district municipal corporations for the past eight years and it should be held accountable for huge funds released for cleanliness of storm-water drains.

“You are advising us to work within your powers. What powers you have left for the Karachi mayor,” he asked, referring to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, building control authority and the Karachi Development Authority, which are under the administrative control of the Sindh government.

Speaking on the occasion, Karachi deputy mayor Arshad Vohra clarified that in 2009 there were 13,768 employees in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and today the number of employees was 12,900.

He said if Karachi was given its due share of octroi zila tax it would not have needed any more funds.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2017