KARACHI: The understanding among the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan to look into Karachi’s affairs after the intervention of the establishment is being seen as a significant challenge as on Monday, leaders of the parties concerned came up with statements suggesting serious lack of trust and coordination.
Only on Sunday, the intervention from the highest levels of the establishment on the issue of Karachi yielded positive results as the city’s three stakeholders — the PPP, PTI and MQM-P — agreed to take joint measures for the betterment of the country’s commercial capital.
A senior member of the security establishment flew to Karachi on Saturday to have all the three stakeholders sit together so that they could mutually find a solution to the city’s problems.
‘We have joined hands with the PPP and taken a bitter sip so that the people of Karachi get some relief’
On Sunday, Sindh government’s spokesperson and Chief Minister’s Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab told the media that a six-member committee to be headed by CM Murad Ali Shah and comprising Sindh ministers Nasir Shah and Saeed Ghani of the PPP, federal ministers Asad Umar and Ali Zaidi of the PTI and Aminul Haque of the MQM-P was being set up to look into issues of Sindh, including Karachi. However, things do not seem to be moving very smoothly.
First came the reaction of PTI Karachi president and a member of the Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman, who called it a “bitter sip” to join hands with the PPP which had “ruined” the city during its 12-year rule.
“We have joined hands with the PPP and taken a bitter sip so that the people of Karachi get some relief,” he told a press conference with other members of the party at Insaf House. “The PPP has been treating Sindh and especially Karachi like a stepmother for 12 years. We think that the problems of the people should be solved in a democratic way. If a survey of Karachi is conducted today, the people of the city will opt for an immediate administrative change.”
He said senior leadership of the PTI had decided that for a better future of Karachi it should sit together because the PPP did not have the people or the vision or the mission to improve the situation in the province.
“We care about the people of Karachi, who have given us a mandate, and we have to fix problems of our Karachi. Karachi will always be part of Sindh. We will fix the situation not only in Karachi but in the whole of Sindh. Sindh also belongs to Prime Minister Imran Khan as the other provinces,” he said.
Moreover the PPP, in apparent reaction to the MQM-P’s stance over new provinces, announced that it would stage a protest demonstration against the “propaganda” by rival elements for division of Karachi and maligning the party.
“The stance of new provinces shared by Amir Khan in fact reflects desire of the people living in Karachi,” said Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi in a statement late on Sunday. “Karachi was capital of Pakistan. Who allowed it to become part of Sindh? It was against the Constitution to merge Karachi with Sindh. The people of Karachi do not support this arrangement. The case of the people of Karachi for a separate province is much stronger than that of South Punjab.”
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2020