KARACHI: Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Friday accused the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh government of “conspiring” against the Rs1.1 trillion Karachi development package only to score political points and tarnish the image of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s government at the centre.
Although he didn’t give details about the status of the uplift package, the minister blamed the provincial administration for creating hurdles in its execution that was ultimately affecting the lives of Karachiites.
“It’s unfortunate that the PPP government is not only creating hurdles in the Karachi package but also making every move to keep the people deprived [of] any federal development project,” he said while talking to reporters at the Governor House.
“Larkana is a stronghold of the PPP but if you visit that place, the roads and streets of the city would explain the performance of the PPP government. They want to turn every city of Sindh including Karachi into Larkana. And why are they doing this ... only for political point-scoring and to defame the PTI government.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan in September 2020 announced an ambitious Rs1.1tr package for the development of the country’s financial capital after the record monsoon rains wreaked havoc on Karachi’s infrastructure.
Says PTI can’t fix decades of neglect in just two years
However, the pace of development and plan’s execution remain under question amid rivalry of the federal and provincial governments of the PTI and PPP, respectively.
‘PDM is falling apart’
Mr Faraz also took the opportunity to criticise the opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement, for its “failed strategy”.
“There are narratives under one platform,” he said. “The PPP insists on no-confidence [motion] while PML-N doubts it and its persistent calls for a long march [are] a clear proof that the PDM is falling apart. They are just hungry for power. When they are in government, everything is good, but when they are out of power, they use every weapon, every tactic to harm the country.”
When the claims of PTI’s good governance amid the fresh Transparency International report about the growing trend of corruption in the country were questioned, the federal minister came up with the argument that “things take time to fix”.
“We are fighting against a seven-decade-old system and you can’t fix everything within two years,” he said.
Mr Faraz asserted that the process of transparency had already begun and it would start yielding results in the years to come.
“For instance, all efforts from the top right from the PM Office are being made to stop the dirty game of money in the upcoming Senate elections. If the past practices continue in the Senate elections you would see the same trend of corruption in next year’s report,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2021