KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday hinted at a “comprehensive strategy” from the federal government to solve the problems being faced by Karachi, vowing that he would not let the people of the city alone in these testing times. He asked the elected members of parliament of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to ensure their presence among people who needed them in their relevant constituencies.
The fresh resolve from the top came when PM Imran convened a meeting of the PTI legislators from Karachi to gather at the Governor House, where he addressed them through a video link while chairing a meeting of the party leaders to review the situation emerging after the record-breaking spells of monsoon rain and discuss ways to solve problems of the city.
A statement issued by the Governor House said that the meeting was attended by the PTI members of the National Assembly and Sindh Assembly from Karachi with Governor Imran Ismail. The PTI members, it said, briefed the prime minister on the current situation of Karachi and their so far role in meeting the challenge. The meeting was also briefed about the plight of poor neighburhoods and low-lying areas in the city, it added.
“The prime minister asked the PTI legislators to make sure their presence in their constituency and utilise every possible resource for the relief and rescue of the affected people,” said the statement. “He also directed the MNAs and MPAs to coordinate with the institutions concerned to devise strategy for immediate relief efforts in poor neighbourhoods and low-lying areas. The prime minister said the federal government would not let down the people of Karachi and in this regard a comprehensive policy is being devised to resolve problems of the city.”
‘My government is fully cognisant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains’
The prime minister came up with his thoughts about Karachi on the second consecutive as only on Thursday he had said that his government would “not abandon” the city’s people “in their time of crisis”.
“My government is fully cognisant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains, especially the people of Karachi,” he had said via tweets. “I am personally monitoring the relief and rescue operations, and am in constant contact with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman and Sindh governor for regular updates.”
Imran urged to visit Karachi
A separate statement issued by the PTI said that the party’s Karachi president and MPA Khurram Sher Zaman came up with detailed briefing and apprised the prime minister about the situation in Karachi and also informed him about challenges emerging in other parts of Sindh after the recent rains.
“The PTI Karachi president requested the prime minister to visit Karachi,” said the party statement.
“He also appealed for an immediate relief operation from the prime minister on the situation in Sindh and also briefed on the current situation in the city and the process of drainage of rainwater. He also discussed drinking water, transport, garbage and a treatment plant during the meeting.”
Mr Zaman, the statement said, appreciated the decision of the federal government to help the Sindh government and thanked the PM for supporting the people of Sindh in their difficult times.
“At present, the people of Sindh and especially the city of Karachi are in dire straits. The people of Sindh have suffered a lot due to the rains in the city and the lack of timely action by the Sindh government,” the statement quoted the PTI Karachi president as saying.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2020