KARACHI: Rejecting the provincial budget for financial year 2020-21, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has asked the federal government, the army chief and the chief justice of Pakistan to play their role in allocation of “reasonable” funds for the development of Karachi.

“The MQM-P rejects the budget 2020-21 as the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party continues with its discriminatory policy against urban areas by ignoring their development like it did in the past 12 years,” said senior MQM-P leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel.

Speaking at a press conference here at the party’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad, Mr Jameel, the parliamentary party head of the MQM-P in the Sindh Assembly, said the PPP’s “traditional” policy of dividing Sindh on the basis of rural and urban areas was not only harmful for the unity of Sindh, but also for the solidarity of Pakistan.

Accompanied by other party leaders, he said Karachi contributed 90 per cent of the total revenue of Sindh and according to official figures Rs1,771 billion tax had been collected only from the urban areas of the metropolis. The federal government had given Rs4,975.10bn from the federal divisible pool to the Sindh government, he added.

Describes Imran Farooq murder verdict as a fair judgement

“The Sindh government collected Rs16,481bn from Karachi during the past 12 years and it had spent a paltry sum of maximum Rs150bn on the development and progress of the country’s commercial capital,” he said, adding that these figures were “evidence” that the PPP-led government had deliberately been victimising the people of Karachi and other urban areas for over a decade.

The MQM leader said that in the next fiscal year 2020-21 Karachi would contribute Rs1,175bn to the exchequer of Sindh, whereas it would get only Rs26.43bn. “The Sindh government has not given one single development project for Karachi in the next fiscal year,” he said.

He said around Rs232bn was allocated for development projects in 2020-21 and the share of Karachi was just Rs26.04bn, or 11 per cent of the total development budget.

He said that during the over 12-year rule in the province the PPP did not give any transport project for Karachi. The PPP had snatched all powers from the elected local governments and even the task of lifting garbage from the city was also with the chief minister instead of the elected mayor.

Mr Jameel asked the people to see for themselves that it was the PPP which was “dividing” Sindh. “What kind of message the Sindh government is giving to the people of Karachi. How long the people of Karachi will not get education, health, transport, sports, parks, water and other basic amenities,” he said.

The Muttahida leader called upon the president, the prime minister, chief of the army staff and chief justice of Pakistan to play their role in the development of Karachi, which is the economic backbone of the country.

“Our defence is attached to Karachi’s economy and Pakistan’s economy and defence would be weakened if anything happens to Karachi. So the federation as well as the superior judiciary must play its role in saving the economy of Pakistan and development of Karachi,” he added.

Imran Farooq murder verdict

Talking about the verdict of an Islamabad court in the murder case of senior MQM figure Dr Imran Farooq, who was stabbed to death in London 10 years ago, Mr Jameel said the MQM-P considered it a fair judgement.

He said his party believed that those involved in the murder must be punished.

He said no one from the MQM-P was named in the case. “All information we got about this case was from the media,” he added.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020

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