Karachi Mayor stunned by opposition’s allegations after ‘cordial meeting’

Published June 23, 2024
Mayor Murtaza Wahab speaks to reporters on June 22. — KMC/X
Mayor Murtaza Wahab speaks to reporters on June 22. — KMC/X

KARACHI: Wondering over its allegations and complaints about the upcoming June 24 session of City Council to pass the budget of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Mayor Murtaza Wahab on Saturday challenged the opposition to prove its claims.

The mayor rejected every claim of the City Council opposition and dubbed it as “hypocrisy” because on the one hand it had assured its support to the mayor for the budget session in one-on-one meeting but on the other, it came up with “false claims and allegations”.

“I don’t know what pushed the opposition leader [in City Council] to address a press conference and make false claims after our meeting,” he said.

“We had a very cordial meeting in which I briefed him about the budget proposals. He hadn’t brought any document and neither the opposition had filed any suggestions for the budget proposal. Their claims are bundles of lies. It was I who had invited the opposition leader for a meeting to develop an understanding before the budget session and seek the opposition’s advice. He appreciated my initiative and assured his cooperation. But the next moment, he was addressing a presser,” said the mayor.

JI’s Saifuddin had accused Wahab of running the house like a ‘dictator’

On Friday, Mayor Wahab had held a meeting with Leader of the opposition in the City Council Advocate Saifuddin as the meeting of the City Council is going to be held on June 24 to present the budget for the next financial year.

However, advocate Saifuddin decided to address a press conference an hour after his meeting with the mayor and claimed that the meeting had failed to settle the issues between the two sides.

Although a statement issued by the mayor’s office after the meeting gave an impression of cordial discussions between the two sides and exchange of thoughts over several issues, the opposition leader spoke otherwise.

He had accused the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the mayor of violating the set rules and tradition by ignoring the proposals from the opposition parties and running the housing on “dictatorial terms”.

On Saturday, Mayor Wahab came up with his side of the story, negating every claim of the opposition.

He said that in his meeting, he briefed advocate Saifuddin about the budget proposals that included estimates of Rs2.5 billion for the development of Karachi.

“I apprised him that development work of 210 schemes would be completed this year and also about release of around Rs1.5 billion from the Sindh Assembly to pay the dues of retired KMC workers. We had also agreed that the development schemes for the next financial year would be designed with the consultation of all parties in the opposition. But I wonder how wrongly the picture was painted in the presser,” said the mayor.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2024

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