KARACHI: Lashing out at the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said on Sunday that it would resist every move to demolish legally constructed houses in the name of ongoing drive against encroachments.
The MQM-P organised a protest demonstration against water shortage in Karachi at Nagan Chowrangi. The event was attended by a good number of party workers and supporters, including women, and area residents.
One of the speakers claimed that Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who is also an MQM-P leader and part of its coordination committee, had made it clear to the Sindh government that he would resign if houses were demolished in Karachi.
Protest against water shortage held; Sattar asks coordination body to stop shedding crocodile’s tears
Addressing the protesters, MQM-P convener and federal minister Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that the provincial government was hatching a conspiracy to make the people of Karachi shelterless in the guise of the apex court’s decisions.
He said that the people of Karachi were not behind encroachments in the city as everyone knew who had encroached upon hills and Hawkesbay.
Dr Siddiqui questioned that why the PPP government took control of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board as well as the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA). “It is unfortunate that the people of Karachi are protesting for water because a few people are selling the water of this city.”
He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action against those who patronised the land mafia in Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, senior deputy convener Amir Khan said that everyone praised the Karachi mayor when he launched an operation in Saddar on the directives of the apex court.
He said that now the Sindh government was using the SBCA to demolish legal houses. “We are making it clear to the Sindh government that they would have to take action against our houses on our bodies.”
He said that the MQM-P was standing with the people of Karachi and its mayor had clearly told the Sindh government on Saturday that he would resign if houses were razed.
Senior leader Khwaja Izharul Hasan said that the KWSB be handed over to the MQM-P if the Sindh government could not control it. “We will resolve the issue of water within one week,” he said.
He said that the local government minister should have resigned if he could not provide water to Karachi.
He said that the elected representatives of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf should also have been present in the protest demonstration if they were serious in solving people’s problems.
Kanwar Naveed Jameel said that the Sindh government and KWSB were patronizing the ‘water mafia’ in Karachi. He said the MQM’s city government had laid the foundation of the K-IV project but the Sindh government did not work on this project.
MQM-P MPA Muhammad Hussain said that the water of Karachi was being stolen and provided to Bahria Town on the Superhighway.
Strict security arrangements were made and a heavy contingent of police and Rangers was deployed in the area.
Sattar wants mayor to suspend anti-encroachment drive
Disgruntled MQM-P leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Sunday demanded that the coordination committee ask Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar to suspend the anti-encroachment operation forthwith.
He said on one hand the coordination committee was giving mandate to the mayor but on the other it was holding a press conference against the campaign against encroachments.
“The coordination committee should stop shedding crocodile’s tears and order mayor Wasim Akhtar to stop the operation forthwith,” he said.
He said that the operation should be suspended until alternative arrangements for the affected people were made.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018