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KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Firdaus Shamim Naqvi said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Imran Khan gave utmost importance to Karachi as President-elect Arif Alvi, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and four of his cabinet members belonged to the metropolis.

He said that Finance Minister Asad Umar — elected from an Islamabad constituency — Naeemul Haque, Information Technology Minister Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Law Minister Farogh Nasim — both belong to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan — had been inducted in PM Khan’s team from Karachi.

Talking to reporters after casting his vote in the presidential election in the Sindh Assembly, he said that the MQM-P was an ally of his party in the Centre as it was in the interest of Karachi to take it along.

He said that with Naya Pakistan, there was a dire need to turn Karachi into a naya shahar because its development was the key to progress of Pakistan.

Claims joint opposition named him leader of the opposition

He said that the PTI would honour all its commitments made to the people of Karachi including implementation of mega projects to meet basic needs of the people like water, modern transport system and enforcement of merit for recruitment in every field.

He said the importance the PM gave to the city could be gauged from his pre- and post-election speeches, as he mentioned Karachi a number of times due to its unique status in the country.

In reply to a question, Mr Naqvi said that the PTI would never indulge in politics of criticism for the sake of criticism and back every move initiated for the betterment of the people.

In this regard, he pointed out that the PTI had fully backed Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar in his demand for an empowered local government and the mayor had staged a demonstration outside the Sindh Assembly on his proposal.

Responding to a question regarding an inordinate delay in naming its leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, Mr Naqvi said that PM Khan had authorised the parliamentary party of the PTI to elect a leader of opposition on its own.

Mr Naqvi said 59 lawmakers from opposition parties, including the MQM-P and Grand Democratic Alliance, had signed an application nominating him as leader of the opposition.

In the Sindh Assembly, 97 lawmakers belong to the Pakistan Peoples Party; PTI has 28, MQM-P (20), GDA (14), Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (three) and one member belongs to the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.

In reply to another question, he said that earlier the MPAs belonging to the PTI through a secret ballot had nominated him as the leader of the opposition with consensus.

He said a signed application would be submitted to the speaker before he summoned a regular session of the assembly.

Earlier, PTI MPA Haleem Adil Shaikh told media outside the assembly that the dark days of Karachi were now about to come to an end. Besides implementation of mega projects youth would be able to get jobs on merit while low-income families would be provided homes at an affordable price soon.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018