KARACHI: After remaining in hibernation for around three years, former Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ibad took centre stage in Karachi’s politics when he met Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar in Dubai and talked to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah over phone on the issue of sanitation.
However, Mayor Akhtar on Friday described his meeting with the former governor as an “unscheduled and casual” one.
Dr Ibad, who during his 14-year-long career as Sindh governor developed the profile of a key mediator to resolve different issues concerning different political stakeholders, claimed that he had no political ambition and he offered his services because he was “feeling pain for Karachi”.
“I keep following Karachi’s issues and honestly, feel so disappointment watching all such happening in the city,” Dr Ibad told Dawn over phone. “I often took initiatives on my own and contacted people concerned to know the exact situation. Then I met Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar the other day. He came up with points and issues concerning lack of resources and powers. I, in this regard, offered him to mediate and talk to the people concerned for immediate resolution of the issues.”
As the mayor gave his nod, he said that he contacted the chief minister and Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah requesting them to deal with the challenge with a consensus, leaving aside all legal and political issues.
“The issue is when we take political line on any administrative or legal issue, it doesn’t help anyone,” he said. “So I just tried to correct this line of action and I am thankful to everyone who heard me and responded positively.
“The things, I think, have started moving forward and after these developments local government minister has held a meeting with the Karachi mayor and the chief minister has also chalked out a plan for [launching] a cleanliness drive. I hope the situation in Karachi would start improving in the next few days,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Akhtar said that he had an unscheduled and casual meeting with the former governor in Dubai, where they discussed problems of the city.
“He [Mr Ibad] asked me about the situation in Karachi and I informed him about the city’s problems”, he said during an informal talk with media representatives on Friday. “It was just a sudden meeting with the former governor in Dubai who was with his son and asking about Karachi situation.”
He said: “He has experience in Karachi so I told him what I can do under the existing laws. I don’t think that he would rejoin politics ... he’s quite relaxed and comfortable abroad. Since he has a vast experience, he gave me some suggestions for the improvement of the city’s situation, but I told him that I don’t have powers.”
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019