At farewell presser, an emotional Karachi mayor lashes out at Sindh govt for hindering city's development
Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar got visibly emotional on Monday while addressing the last press conference of his tenure, claiming that the Sindh government didn't want development to take place in the city.
Speaking to the media at the KMC head office recounting his performance over the past four years, he said that he had written "thousands" of letters to the Sindh government as well as the prime minister and the president.
"Who will take these? Not a single reply was given," he said, tossing the papers and getting teary eyed.
"Karachi feeds you and your children. You have set up shop here after coming from different districts. This is Paris for you. I have seen the houses you have purchased in Defence and Clifton.
"Why are you inflicting torture on the people of the city? I have written thousands of letters. I am not joking, the Supreme Court should take notice, the prime minister should do something for this city.
"I am not being dramatic. I have spent the last four years stressed because of the Sindh government and the chief minister.
"They don't want development, not just in Karachi but in all of Sindh. They just want to loot the city," he said, adding that the provincial government had "destroyed" Larkana, Sehwan, Dadu and Mirpurkhas.
"What have they done in the past 12 years? They are now here to destroy this city. They are dividing it. Someone should question them."
He added that the Sindh chief minister had a lesser mandate than him. "Halve the population of Sindh, that is my mandate. My mandate is more than the chief minister and no one answers my letters?"
He added that he had been working for the past four year to fix his departments but was unable to do so due to a lack of funds. "If I don't have funds, what will I do? Bring them from home?"
He said that in the past four years, he had not bought a car, nor let anybody else buy one. "I saved money."
Akhtar also lashed out at the premier for sending the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to the city to help with the situation after the monsoon rainfall.
"The prime minister saw two men drowning [in the city] on TV and sent the NDMA. PM sahab, you should come here yourself. This city is responsible for your budget. Nothing can be done by sitting over there. Come and fix the city, nothing is achieved by forming committees," he said, referring to the body formed for the city's betterment.
On August 10, Akhtar, who is also a central leader of the MQM-P, had told reporters that his tenure was about to end on August 28 and he was not foreseeing the next local government elections to be held anytime soon.
Four days later, while hinting at the local government elections, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had made a formal announcement that his party’s government in Sindh would control the administrative affairs of Karachi following the completion of term of the elected local governments.
Last time, the PPP, which has been ruling Sindh for the past over 12 years, took five years to hold the LG elections across the province — that too on the orders of the Supreme Court — in 2015 after the dissolution of the then district government system in 2010.