KARACHI: Politicians, city intelligentsia, experts of urban planning and prominent members of the civil society have agreed that growing problems of Karachi, fast decaying infrastructure and the breakdown of law and order and civic bodies warrant a strong, powerful and dedicated local government system for the city.
In a conference titled ‘Rebuild Karachi’ organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami, there was a consensus that the business capital of the country was never ever owned by national leadership that left the city far behind in economic, social and cultural development which it truly deserved.
The experts from all walks of life had an agreement that an empowered LG government in the megalopolis was the need of the hour to reconstruct the city.
Speaking on the occasion, JI-Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rehman called for holding local government elections immediately.
‘No political party is ready to own the city’
Criticising the Sindh government for delaying the polls, he raised the point that the LG elections could be held in accordance with the ‘flawed’ census results as the national and provincial assemblies elections were held under the same census results.
He claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Pakistan Peoples Party had agreed against holding LG elections in Punjab and Sindh.
“Unfortunately the political arena of Karachi is taken as a contest to accumulate resources, power and conquer the city,” he said, adding that no political party was ready to own the city.
He said that the federal government was trying to ‘fool’ the masses by inaugurating the Karachi Circular Railway once again. “The city of 30 million needs a proper mass transit system and not peanuts of only 100 busses,” he said.
The JI leader said that the subsequent governments in the Centre and the province had failed to even provide potable water to citizens of Karachi. He said that the K-IV water supply project was still in pending.
Former federal minister Javed Jabbar praised the JI for its struggle and emphasised the need of an empowered local government system.
Renowned writer Anwar Maqsood stressed the need for a joint struggle for the metropolis.
Urban planner Arif Hassan said an empowered LG system was mandatory to resolve issues being faced by the city and that he supported the JI campaign for restoration of the city despite all political differences.
Bashir Jan said that good governance was the major issue of Karachi. He said he supported the JI in its efforts to bring back the past glory of the city.
Seasoned journalist and columnist Shahnawaz Farooqui shed light on various aspects of prevailing trends in journalism and their impact on city.
Health expert Dr Iqbal Afridi spoke about civic problems that were contributing to increasing death rate in the city.
Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2021