KARACHI: Stressing the need for an empowered city government in Karachi, a senior leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami on Wednesday demanded that all civic departments working in the metropolis be placed under the umbrella of one unified system.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the JI Youth on empowered city government here at the Karachi Press Club, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said that no city in the world could make progress if its city government lacked resources.

He said that it was former Karachi nazim Niamatullah Khan who made record development works in the city and after him the people of the metropolis were facing water, electricity, transport and sewerage problems.

Giving credit to late Niamatullah Khan of completing K-III and conceiving K-IV water supply projects for Karachi, the JI leader said that he also presented a mass transit programme for Karachi but Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Babar Ghauri and Farooq Sattar did not allow it to proceed.

‘No city in the world can make progress if its govt lacks resources’

Hafiz Naeem also condemned the extension of the quota system for an indefinite period by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

He said his party was holding a march on Sept 27 in which JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq would announce the party’s future course of action.

‘Karachi may get 62 PA seats if true census held’

Terming a non-transparent population census the biggest problem of Karachi, he said that the city would get 62 provincial assembly seats if a transparent census was held.

He questioned how any planning could be made for Karachi without holding a true and transparent population census.

Hafiz Naeem said that it was decided that a five per cent audit of census blocks would be held in Karachi to know whether the provisional census results were right or wrong.

He lamented that despite a passage of two years neither the government took any action on it nor any party raised its voice on this injustice.

He said that an increase in the number of provincial assembly seats of Karachi as a result of true census would eventually lead to elimination of all the city’s problems.

PPP, PML-N blamed for making LGs toothless

Prof Raza Ali Khan of NED University said on the occasion that both the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had promised in their manifestos that they would give an empowered local government system if voted to power.

However, he said, unfortunately they practically snatched LG powers whenever they formed their governments at the centre.

“Karachi should be given an empowered city government,” he said.

He also seconded Hafiz Naeem’s demand for a transparent census for Karachi and termed it the biggest issue of the people of the metropolis.

Senior lawyer Munir A. Malik said that the rulers had made Karachi and its metropolitan corporation orphan despite the fact that this city generated revenue to run the country.

He said that the recent rains had exposed the performance of the federal and provincial governments.

He praised Niamatullah Khan and said that he managed to bring 17 different organisations under one platform for development works in the city.

Mr Malik urged the people to elect “honest leadership” in the next election so that they could make Karachi the city of lights again.

JI leader Dr Osama Razi, senior journalist Muzaffar Ejaz and others also spoke.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2020

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