KARACHI: Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Monday said that Karachiites paid 65 per cent and 95pc taxes to the federal and Sindh governments respectively, asking where these amounts were spent.

“I am ready to tender my resignation, if someone assures that the issues would be resolved with my resignation. I am serving in extremely difficult circumstances,” the mayor claimed while talking to media outside the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry here.

He said that he was implicated in “fabricated” cases and was nominated in dozens of FIRs despite being the mayor of Karachi. “I have been raising voice for the last four years for empowerment of local bodies across the country,” he added.

Mr Akhtar said that the chief justice of Pakistan rightly expressed his displeasure over the situation of Karachi which had deteriorated especially in the past 12 years.

Says tenure of local govt will end on 28th, but he doesn’t see LG polls on the horizon

He said that no one could deliver with the powers that he currently possessed. “The tenure of incumbent local government is completing on August 28 and I am not seeing the next local government polls soon,” he added.

“I request the chief justice of Pakistan to hear my petition filed for empowerment of local bodies under Article 140-A of the Constitution. The situation might have been different had the petition [been] taken up,” the mayor said.

He said that 70pc of the city was controlled by the federal government while 20pc was under the provincial government’s control, adding that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had control over just 10pc of the city.

Blames provincial govt

He said that all powers of the KMC including building control, master plan, transport, solid waste management and other civic departments were controlled by Sindh government.

“Even the power of drains’ cleanliness was snatched from the KMC and the provincial government had formed different authorities under its control,” he added.

The mayor said that the voice of Karachiites was not being heard at any level and no one seemed bothered in resolving issues of the city.

The mayor was of the view that Karachi was being neglected deliberately.

“Karachi is the revenue engine of Pakistan and if its economy is destroyed how would federal and provincial governments run,” he said.

Mr Akhtar said that non-locals were being “imposed” on Karachi and they could not solve issues of the city as they were unaware of the same.

“The people would keep suffering from issues of sewerage, transport, water scarcity and other problems until locals of the city [are] given power,” he added.

He said that no department of the provincial government was performing, that’s why the people were facing severe problems.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020