LAHORE: The President of the Pakistan Muslim League, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, today [June 21] said that in the present national context, transfer of power to the elected representatives was not possible as it could be effected only through the pre-requisites of Constitution, a constitutional head and functioning of Assemblies to whom the Ministries would be accountable. In view of the existing abnormal conditions what was sought after was only sharing of power but that too was dependent on the will of the President.

Khan Qayyum ... was talking to newsmen. He was received at the airport by the office-bearers and workers of the party. He believed that whenever sharing of power was to be effected, it should take place simultaneously throughout the country because “we don’t want to have one kind of system in the West and a different one in the East”. As regards the timing and manner, President Yahya is the best judge as he was fully seized of the relevant facts.

When a correspondent pointed out that in neighbouring India there were provinces which had representative governments but there were others which were under President’s rule, Khan Abdul Qayyum said, the analogy was not applicable in the context of Pakistan. No doubt, East Pak­is­tan was only one province but its population was larger than that of the entire West Pakistan. More­­over, it was not the case of a province where provincial Government had collapsed and Presi­dent’s rule had to be enforced. Here was a case where there had been a lot of fighting, bloodshed and revolt and the Army had to move in to drive out the Indian invaders and local rebels. There was, therefore, no parallel between the existing conditions and those requiring imposition of President’s rule, he added.

Karachi town planning

[Meanwhile as reported by agencies in Kara­c­­hi,] The Sind Provincial Committee of the Paki­s­tan People’s Party (PPP) has demanded that a bold new approach be made to the whole complex of housing and town planning in Karachi, free of all present bureaucratic considerations. A Press release of the committee issued here ... said urban housing must come into the public sector and no fresh construction by private persons should be allowed.

It also demanded that all unbuilt lands should be taken over by the Corporation and lands ow­­ned by the Central and Provincial Governments within the limits of the metropolis be given over to the Corporation, except those requested for governmental functions. The committee pointed out that the Corporation should embark on an ambitious programme of low-cost housing by constructing flats in centrally located areas with proper amenities. Referring to the large number of societies operating in the city … most of these societies were of a dubious character and most of them have not yet obtained lands. The committee urged the authorities to take note of the malpractices by the societies.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2021

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