KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal has asked the authorities to give “administrative and financial autonomy” to Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad as it was the only way to steer the country out of the current economic crisis.

“If Karachi is given financial and administrative autonomy, it alone can collect Rs8 trillion,” he said, adding that all the three cities would remain part of their respective provinces.

He said this while speaking at a workers’ convention held at the party’s headquarters, Pakistan House, on Saturday evening. A large number of workers, including women, attended the event.

Karachi alone can generate Rs8,000bn if given financial and administrative autonomy: PSP

He, however, did not explain the measures which would yield such a massive income that could rid Pakistan of its financial problems.

He said the country was passing through the worst situation and all subsidies on electricity and gas bills would be abolished in the days to come. “Our finance minister will only read out the [next] budget which will be the budget of the IMF,” he said.

Public meeting on July 21

As the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Pakistan Peoples Party had recently staged their respective rallies, the PSP chief also announced that his party would stage a show of strength on July 21 at the sprawling Bagh-i-Jinnah.

He criticised the MQM-P and the PPP for fanning hatred among people of Sindh by exploiting the issue of new provinces for their petty political gains and termed both the parties “political jugglers”. These parties only did the politics of “lies and deceit”, he said.

He said instead of solving people’s problems, both the MQM and PPP leaders went to their constituents and made sure that the gulf between Sindhis and Mohajirs remained intact on the issue of division of Sindh because it served their interests.

He demanded that all provinces be given equal number of National Assembly seats on the pattern of the Senate so that each province could get equal role in the federal government.

About the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), he asked the state to exercise patience in dealing with the PTM and adopt the path of dialogue as Pakistan could not afford internal instability.

He also criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for failing to recover even a single penny of the looted wealth and collect Rs700 billion less taxes during its first eight months.

PSP president Anis Kaimkhani and other leaders were also present.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2019