PM tasks NDMA chief with getting rain-hit Karachi cleaned up

Updated 30 Jul 2020

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Prime Minister Imran Khan says the federal government would never leave people of Karachi alone. — Photo by Irfan Ahson/File
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the federal government would never leave people of Karachi alone. — Photo by Irfan Ahson/File

ISLAMABAD: Prime Min­ister Imran Khan on Wednesday asked Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to coordinate between the Centre and the provincial government to address problems faced by people, particularly the urban flood-like situation in Karachi due to the dilapidated drainage system in the city.

During a meeting at PM House, the prime minister told the governor that the federal government would never leave people of Karachi alone and would make best possible efforts to mitigate their suffering. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry was also present in the meeting.

According to an official press release, the governor informed the prime minister about the recent spell of torrential rains in Sindh and inundation of Karachi by rainwater due to out-of-order drainage system in the country’s commercial hub.

The prime minister directed the National Disaster Management Authority to present a report on drainage system and rains in Karachi.

Governor Ismail told to coordinate between Centre, Sindh govt

Later, PM Khan said in a tweet: “I have asked the NDMA Chairman to go to Karachi immediately and start the clean up in the aftermath of the rain.”

In another tweet, Mr Khan said: “I have asked the Pak army to also help in cleaning up the city.”

Meanwhile, a source told Dawn that the prime minister expressed concern why the Sindh government was not ann­ouncing the Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) award. He was of the view that due to non-transfer of funds to the grass-root level, basic civic issues were not being addressed in the province.

The prime minister was told that although most of the MNAs and MPAs from Karachi belonged to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement, they were facing difficulties in resolving the people’s problems because Sindh was ruled by the Pakistan Peoples Party.

The source said the prime minister asked if the Centre could link announcement of the PFC award with the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, under which the Centre releases funds for the provinces.

The prime minister also directed Fawad Chaudhry to help people of Karachi through the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources.

Later, the Sindh governor called on President Dr Arif Alvi to discuss the situation in Karachi after the recent rains.

According to a press release, they discussed solutions to the issues which have emerged in Karachi after the recent rainfall and reviewed various proposals in this regard. The governor would submit these proposals to the prime minister.

PM sets up committee

Prime Minister Khan formed a committee headed by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to resolve problems hindering the creation of south Punjab province. In a meeting with members of the National Assembly (MNAs) hailing from south Punjab, the prime minister said the committee would hold meetings with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to remove hurdles in the creation of the new province.

He said the steps being taken by the Centre for creation of the new province were aimed at empowering the people of southern Punjab.

After the meeting the, foreign minister said in a statement south Punjab secretariat would be established both in Multan and Bahawalpur. The MNAs apprised the prime minister of the situation regarding functioning of the secretariat.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said as per the prime minister’s directive, he along with Khusru Bakhtiar would soon hold a meeting with the Punjab chief minister in which establishment of relevant offices in Multan and Bahawalpur would be discussed.

WB country director

Outgoing Country Director of World Bank in Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan paid a farewell call on Prime Minister Khan.

Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar was also present.

Mr Illangovan thanked the prime minister for the latter’s support during his stay in Pakistan and recognised Pakistan’s efforts towards stabilisation of economy, overall reform process and response to Covid-19 pandemic.

The prime minister appreciated the partnership with the World Bank and wished the outgoing World Bank country director success in his next assignment.

Later, Malik Mohammad Amir Dogar and Malik Mohammad Ehsanullah Tiwana, members of the National Assembly belonging to the PTI, met the prime minister separately and discussed matters pertaining to legislation and their respective constituencies.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2020