KARACHI: Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi chairman Afaq Ahmed has said that a conspiracy is being hatched to shelve a plan to establish a medical college and 700-bed hospital in Landhi. He demanded that the Sindh government complete the project at the earliest.

Speaking at a press conference at his Defence residence, Mr Ahmed said that the provincial government had itself divided Sindh by creating an urban-rural divide and “when we raise this issue we are accused of talking about a division of Sindh”.

He expressed serious concerns over reports that the provincial government had converted the project of a medical college and hospital in Landhi to a ‘technical’ college. “It seems the rulers of Sindh want to stop students of Landhi and Korangi from becoming doctors,” he said.

He said that the people of Landhi and Korangi were happy when the project was launched in 2013 that they would get a government hospital close to their home. He said almost 80 per cent work had been completed but the remaining work had been pending for around two years for want of funds.

“Now, it is very unfortunate that a conspiracy is being hatched to shelve the project of Landhi-Korangi medical college and hospital by converting it to a technical college,” he said, adding that Landhi and Korangi already got 10 technical education colleges and there was a dire need for a medical college and hospital.

Halt to anti-encroachment drive till arrangement of alternative accommodations urged

He demanded that the construction work of the medical college project be resumed immediately and completed rapidly so that the hospital and college could become operational.

Appeal to CJP

The MQM-H chief asked the chief justice of Pakistan to halt till Eid the ongoing anti-encroachment drive along Gujjar Nullah purely on humanitarian grounds.

He praised the CJP for taking prompt decisions, including the revival of the Karachi Circular Railway, whenever he came to Karachi.

He said that around 4,000 houses along Gujjar Nullah had been marked as encroachment and hundreds of them had been demolished. He said that these houses were not constructed overnight as every institutions knew about them.

Mr Ahmed said that the Supreme Court should take action against all those organisations and government functionaries who were responsible for these encroachments.

He also asked the apex court to first ensure provision of alternative accommodations to all the affected families and then launch the drive to demolish all encroachments.

He said that Karachi had been controlled by multiple agencies and their no-objection certificates were required for constructing buildings on any piece of land. He said that people invested their hard-earned money but it had become a routine feature that the judiciary declared a building illegal and ordered its demolition later due to which the public lost its money.

“What should people of Karachi do ... should they seek NOC from high court or Supreme Court?” he asked and said that there was a need to take action against those who allowed such construction instead of punishing the common people.

Rejects census

The MQM-H chairman praised Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for taking a courageous stand in the meeting of the Council of Common of Interest by rejecting the results of the controversial Census 2017.

“While we are criticising the Sindh government for its anti-people decisions, we will support their right decision as well,” he said, adding: “The stand of Murad Ali Shah is in the interest of Sindh.”

He said that the population of Karachi was 30 million, but it was shown in the census as 16 million. “This means the population of Sindh is shown much less than the actual size. On this point we are with Murad Ali Shah,” he added.

Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2021

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