Mayor Murtaza Wahab urges Karachiites to take ownership of city

Published February 18, 2024
Panelists are pictured during the 15th Karachi Literature Festival at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
Panelists are pictured during the 15th Karachi Literature Festival at the Beach Luxury Hotel on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab on Sunday urged people to take ownership of the city and called on them to actively participate in finding solutions for the issues plaguing the metropolis.

He made the remarks while addressing a panel titled ‘Urban Dialogue: Decoding Karachi’s Dynamics’ during the three-day 15th Karachi Literature Festival held at the Beach Luxury Hotel.

The panel was moderated by sustainable development expert Masood Lohar. It also included architect Arif Hassan, filmmaker Tariq Alexander Qaiser and environmentalist Afia Salam.

During the talk, Wahab noted a prevailing negativity among the residents of the city and called for shifting one’s mindset to opportunities and possibilities rather then dwelling on problems.

He said that the “city which runs Pakistan” could run itself but why it was not doing so was something which needed to be examined. He also noted that “decision-makers” and other influentials did not experience the city and would instead go abroad. He identified this as a significant factor contributing to the city’s current challenges, saying that it fostered a sense of abandonment.

The mayor praised the city for welcoming all kinds of people from across the country. He expressed that the doors of the city were open for everyone but added: “Karachi is for everyone, but no one is for Karachi.”

Referring to the Clifton Urban Forest, Wahab highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts. He encouraged citizens to engage in dialogue and work towards “bridging the urban divide”.

Wahab also pledged to work with the community on a master plan for the city, green spaces and improving transportation. He sought the input of residents for developing a strategy in order to transform Karachi for the better.

Environmental activist Afia echoed Wahab’s sentiments and said that there was a dire need to address governance issues in the city. She stated that the fragmented jurisdiction in the city was a hindrance to solving the issues it was facing.

She urged stakeholders to come together and address the challenges the city was facing.

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