KARACHI: Jamaat-i-Islami’s Karachi chief Naeemur Rehman demanded on Saturday an end to the quota system in Sindh and injustices to Karachiites, criticising both the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Tehreek-i-Insaf over the census issue.

Speaking at a convention held in connection with the Karachi Rights Movement, he shed light on the importance of the city’s role in the country’s economy and highlighted the grievances of the megalopolis.

“The city runs Pakistan but, unfortunately, it is neglected, discrimination against the city prevails in the establishment, bureaucracy and political circles,” he said, adding that everyone was milking the resources of the city but no one intended to pay back to the city.

“We demand an end to the fraud and deception to Karachi,” he said after elaborating that how the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) “backstabbed” the city in the last census. He added that the people were asking for their due rights and not for charity.

Censures MQM-P and PTI for ‘doing nothing for the metropolis’

He termed the flawed census a national crime as half of the city’s population was not documented during the process. He dubbed the federal government’s announcement about the next census as nothing more than a “lollipop”.

“The half count impacts on our resources and representation, as a result, the feudal lords who usurp the rights of their own people are empowered to make decisions on our behalf,” he said. The matter of regret is that the parties with the mandate of Karachi did this to the city, the JI leader added.

Talking about the current scenario, he said that the army was supervising the ruling parties under the Karachi Transformation Plan, but the government did not spend even Rs2 billion during the last several months.

“The PPP government needs to take Karachi as part of Sindh and the federal government of the PTI needs to realise that Karachi is a part of Pakistan.”

He also highlighted the government’s double standards when it came to uprooting people in slum areas of Karachi for development work where the authorities used ruthless force to displace people but spared those responsible for their dwelling in those areas.

The JI leader further said that political forces of the past kept the city divided on ethnic grounds while it was the JI that took up the issue of computerised national identity cards for migrants with the authorities. “The city is a habitat of migrants (mohajirs), those who migrated for the ideology of Pakistan, but unfortunately those who claimed to represent them did nothing for the people. The JI has continued its struggle for the city because we want books not weapons in the hands of our youth,” he said. “We want everyone to progress on the basis of merit instead of quota.”

He also took up the matter of the K-Electric, saying that the private company had been supported by successive governments against the masses in Karachi.

The JI leader said that Ramazan is the month of jihad and struggle. He demanded immediate local government polls after empowering the city government set-up.

Talking about the recent developments in the country, he said: “The government and the opposition both are deceiving the people of Pakistan. They neglected the issue of the French ambassador on the pretext of economy. Who weakened the economy? Civil-military establishments, the bureaucracy and politicians,” he himself replied and added that those responsible for shattering the economy should be held accountable.

“Kick the French envoy out, no hell will break loose as a consequence,” he said, adding that the ummah would not tolerate any compromise on the honour of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

The JI Karachi chief also demanded that the government withdraw the ban on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2021

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