KARACHI: Calling K-Electric a source of “severe pain” for Karachiites, Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori on Saturday suggested to the authorities concerned, both at the Centre and in Sindh, that the power utility’s operations in the city should be linked with its performance, which could be curtailed if it fails to improve its services.

In a meeting with Jamaat-i-Islami leaders during a visit to the party’s headquarters, the governor endorsed their viewpoint and made strongly-worded criticism at the Karachi-based utility. The JI has been campaigning against “inflated bills and unjustified loadshedding” by the distribution company for around two years now, but Governor Tessori went beyond that and, questioning K-Electric’s poor performance, suggested that punitive measures be taken against it.

“I endorse what Hafiz Neemur Rehman [JI Karachi chief] said about K-Electric during our meeting,” he told reporters at Idara Noor-i-Haq. “K-Electric has caused so much pain to the people of Karachi. Its past hasn’t been very good, so I would definitely take up this issue with the federal and provincial governments. And I think if KE doesn’t improve, its contract [for Karachi power supply] should not be renewed.”

The Sindh governor appeared calm fielding a volley of aggressive questions on a variety of topics, ranging from his political loyalties to the motive behind his recent meetings with different leaders, and from his relationship with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to their understanding with the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).”

Tessori meets JI chief, expresses resolve to bring all political parties to the table

“The MQM has definitely nominated me, but as the representative of the federation in this province, I am the governor of every single party and every single person living in this province,” he said in response to a question.

“My recent meetings with different leaders [including Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari] were just attempts to bring people closer and explore different ways for the development of both rural and urban Sindh. I know the Jamaat-i-Islami and MQM are two different parties with different ideologies, and so is the PPP. But I am here making efforts to bring all political stakeholders to the table to resolve all issues amicably through dialogue.”

Earlier, the JI Karachi chief welcomed the Sindh governor to his party’s headquarters and held a detailed meeting with him. Talking to reporters, he said his party had been raising its voice for the rights of urban Sindh through a proper campaign titled Haq Do Karachi Ko.

“I have personally briefed the governor about our whole campaign to paint a true picture of Karachi’s issues,” Hafiz Naeem said.

He said it was not just deteriorating infrastructure or the fast-declining standard of living in the city that they were complaining about, but rather the absence of an empowered local government system, the unchecked highhandedness of K-Electric, the employment issues faced by Karachi’s youths and a host of other problems, which demand immediate action. “We expect him to play his role to resolve these issues using his office,” he said after meeting the governor.

He also sought the governor’s role for a fresh census in Karachi, which was promised by the federal government.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2022

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