Wahab resigns as Karachi administrator

Published September 27, 2022
Barrister Murtaza Wahab.—PPI
Barrister Murtaza Wahab.—PPI

KARACHI: Disappointed by the Sindh High Court’s order, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab on Monday announced his resignation from the office.

Speaking to the media, he expressed regret over the court’s decision that temporarily halted the process of collecting municipal taxes through the KE, saying that the relevant laws authorised the city’s metropolitan administration to impose taxes. “I worked tirelessly day in and day out but there was no appreciation for the work I did,” he added.

Barrister Wahab, who was appointed the administrator on Aug 6, 2021, said that it would have been easier for him to ask the prime minister and the chief minister for funds for the KMC, but he did not.

“I believe the way of the law is the only solution,” he said.

The administrator, who is also the provincial government’s spokesman and chief minister’s law adviser, said that there were forces at work that did not let the provincial government do it job efficiently. “It’s not easy to work in this city as everything is resisted here,” he added.

He said former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar had hired a private contractor to collect the taxes. “Once they collected Rs200 million and were given Rs40 million. Where was the money going then?” he asked.

Taking a dig at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Jamaat-i-Islami, he said: “When the city roads are submerged, nobody knocks on the doors of Wasim Akhtar or [JI city chief] Naeem-ur-Rehman... the citizens question me, the government, and the KMC for answers.”

“I was out in the field during the disasters supervising the repairs, rescue, and relief work personally. I was working while wearing a mask during the Covid-19 outbreak. I always tried to serve people indiscriminately without any bias,” he added.

The administrator said he had diabetes and the work-related stress was worsening it, which was taking a toll on his health.

He also tweeted his resignation letter that stated that he was “unable to continue any further as Administrator, KMC due to personal reasons”.

While his political rivals termed the decision to resign from the office of administrator a political stunt, informed sources said that his resignation was not likely to be accepted by the chief minister.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2022

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