KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said on Sunday that those claiming to be the stakeholders of Karachi, including its mayor, were unaware of the fact that the provincial metropolis had a master plan which had been endorsed by the Supreme Court in 2007.
Showing the order of the Supreme Court and other relevant documents, he told a press conference at his party’s headquarters, Pakistan House, that former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had ordered all land controlling authorities in the city to work in accordance with the Karachi Strategic Development Plan-2020 prepared by the then city district government.
He said that the court had ordered all such authorities, which had been providing municipal services in their respective jurisdiction, to form a board of governors which would be headed by the Karachi mayor.
Slams Sindh govt for not empowering districts in accordance with 18th Amendment
It was also ordered that the defence ministry should issue a notification to separate all residential areas from its cantonment boards so that the function of municipal services should be delegated to the mayor, he added.
“All issues of Karachi can be solved by implementing this decision of the Supreme Court,” he said, adding that in the light of the SC directives no city authority could frame its own bylaws or rules.
Sindh govt not giving rights to districts
He criticised the Sindh government for not delegating resources and powers to the third-tier of the government.
He said that on the one hand the provincial government was demanding that the federal government issue the next National Finance Commission (NFC) award on the basis of revenue instead of population, but on the other hand it was not giving the districts their rights through the Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) award.
Accompanied by PSP president Anis Kaimkhani and others, he asked the federal government not to issue the NFC award until all provinces submitted a schedule with regard to issuance of PFC award.
He said that the main objective of the 18th Amendment was to devolve powers from the Centre to provinces and from provinces to districts, and it should be implemented in letter and spirit.
Mr Kamal said that he had publicly extended full cooperation to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui for the solution of Karachi’s problem.
About the ongoing drive against illegal buildings constructed after changing the land status, he said that his party never supported illegal constructions and land grabbing in the city, but the government should not leave alone the people who were now living in such settlements.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2019