— Photo courtesy: Sobia Shahid

'Putting up fancy lights is not governance': Politicians, journalists react as Karachi floods yet again

Veteran journalist Mazhar Abbas says Pakistan's economic hub has drowned like our economy.
Published July 11, 2022

Yet another year has seen Karachi, the country's economic hub, laid to waste by heavy rainfall. Despite the Met department's warnings of heavy monsoon rain, Karachi and its administration was yet again caught unawares once it started pouring.

On Monday, the second day of Eidul Azha, at least five people were killed while many faced hours-long power outages. Citizens were also virtually trapped in their homes as rainwater accumulated on roads.

Former prime minister Imran Khan said the flooding of the city yet again was a reflection of the PPP's "14 years of corruption and mismanagement in governing Sindh".

"My govt had given Rs35bn to clean and reconstruct major nullahs but the provincial government failed to perform its task of improving solid waste disposal and cleaning minor nullahs," he said.

Journalist Talat Hussain said the Shehbaz government won't say a word about Karachi as its survival depended on the support of the PPP, the MQM and "those running DHA — the ‘real state’ within real estate".

"Bahria is [a] holy cow for all since it is a national benefactor. So as the city flaps in filth and misfortune, all stay quiet," he said.

Anchorperson Shiffa Yousafazi shared a video on rainwater accumulated on the city's roads, saying: "Karachi must be declared [a] national emergency. Now or never!!!"

PTI leader Shehryar Afridi said that Karachi was flooding yet again, leaving citizens questioning the government ruling for the past 15 years.

"The imported federal govt is [a] silent observer of this chaos. They want this kind of democracy, where they rule forever without accountability," he said.

Social activist Jibran Nasir called out Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, saying the city was standing exactly where it was two years ago, when record torrential rainfall wreaked havoc in the metropolis.

"Putting up fancy lights on landmarks is not governance," he said.

PTI's Muhammad Basharat Raja was of the opinion that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah could not accomplish for Karachi in 15 years what former Punjab CM Usman Buzdar achieved for Lahore in 3.5 years.

"Those who use #Karachi as an emotional threat and bait during political discourse should at least feel some remorse today."

Veteran journalist Mazhar Abbas said Pakistan's economic hub had drowned like our economy.

"With more heavy forecast for the next four days, God knows what will happen. How could you progress if you can't protect your main hub? The Story of 75 years of Pakistan."

PTI's Ali Haider Zaidi asserted that Karachi should be declared a disaster-hit city and an emergency should be declared. "There is no governance. Where is PDMA?" he asked.

Former Sindh governor Imran Ismail noted that the city was drowning amid the PPP-MQM partnership.

"Both are doing nothing but blaming each other. Helpless citizens are awaiting help. The [city] administrator is busy swimming on Sharea Faisal with his supporters," he said, adding that PTI workers were on the roads helping citizens.

He also shared a video of a neighbourhood inundated with rainwater, saying: "This is my Karachi, ruined by PPP’s incapable leadership."

Journalist Zebunnisa Burki noted, however, that even well-planned cities in well-planned countries face urban flooding during such rainfall.

"Traumatised at what this means for Karachi. Stay safe and pls spare a thought for those trying to fix the roads, the power and sundry in this weather," she said.