THE situation in Karachi has been dismal during this monsoon season. With at least seven people dead from flooding and three electrocuted, city streets turned into rivers soon after heavy rains. It was natural to expect the PPP government to take necessary action. But it seems it is too difficult for the PPP to tackle the situation.

In fact, Sindh government officials seem unwilling to even accept the responsibility for Karachi’s pathetic condition. To make matters worse, the minister for information and local government was quoted as saying it was a ‘natural calamity’ that no one had any control over — and ‘it could have been worse’.

Late July, Prime Minister Imran Khan made a decision to ask the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to fix the flooding issue in Karachi. The NDMA was tasked with removing debris, garbage and sludge from clogged-up drains, and so far it has succeeded in doing so. Notably, it was with the approval of the Sindh government that the NDMA was asked to intervene in Karachi. The PPP has also praised for the organisation for doing such a wonderful job.

However, this raises a question: what is the PPP’s responsibility? It is clear that Karachi’s problems are too big for the party to handle. Moreover, it has proved itself incapable of addressing these problems despite being in power in Sindh for over a decade. The PPP had ample time and opportunity to deal with the people’s concerns.

Some PTI officials mistrust the PPP government. A prominent PTI figure, Khurram Sher Zaman, has openly declared that he thinks the PPP is a corrupt party. Moreover, he also demanded the federal government should intervene in Sindh in order to save citizens from the incompetent PPP. Now Bilawal Bhutto may not allow intervention in Sindh. He will obviously try to protect a grand family legacy in the province. He will be ready to do whatever it takes to help the PPP maintain its grip in Sindh, with a focus on Karachi.

Syed Tahir Rashdi
Shahdadpur

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2020

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