PTI, PPP and MQM: Can this squabbling trifecta resolve Karachi’s problems?

PM Imran Khan is to announce an over Rs800 billion Karachi Transformation Plan during his today’s visit to the metropolis. The important question is to understand will the complex politics involving PPP, MQM-P, and PTI ever allow any plan to get transformed into a reality? Read GVS News Analysis.

Karachi’s problems

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has reached Karachi on a day-long visit today (Saturday) to announce the Karachi Transformation Plan for the rain-hit metropolis. The premier is expected to announce an over Rs800 billion Karachi Transformation Plan during his visit to the rain-hit city. He is also scheduled to see the Chief Minister Sindh and other coalition partners from the province to resolve Karachi’s problems.

The premier was scheduled to make a visit to Karachi after torrential rains hit the metropolis hard. Several people including women and children lost their lives due to heavy rains and urban flooding.

Who is responsible for transforming the city of lights into a city of garbage?

However, there remained an issue as to who was responsible for transforming the city of lights into a city of garbage. PTI won seats from Karachi in the recent general elections and promised to uplift the city.

Political analysts are of the view that although the PPP has been in power in the province for more than a decade now, yet it shies away from taking responsibility of the crises that occur in the metropolis. “The party cannot escape the lion’s share of the scorn coming from the people,” opines Fahd Husain, Dawn’s resident Editor.

Read More: Who will answer for Karachi in the eternal court?

Post 18th Amendment issues

After the 18th amendment, argue analysts, the provinces took charge of the local issues and pledged to address them accordingly. However, the Sindh government has apparently failed to devise any mechanism to deal with the crisis it faces every year during the monsoon season in Pakistan.

Apart from rains, the garbage issue in the country’s largest city has always been a big challenge. But it remains largely unaddressed.

According to the details, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz and Aamir Mehmood Kiyani are accompanied by the prime minister.

PM is also scheduled to visit Pakistan Stock Exchange besides holding a meeting with industrialists and businessmen during his stay in the city.

Planned projects for Karachi

Sources having knowledge of the matter revealed that the prime minister would announce 50 projects for the rain-hit city. “Six mass-transit projects with the cost of Rs 447.45 billion will be announced for the city,” they said, adding that Rs300 billion for Karachi Circular Railway will also be included in the transformation plan.

They said that the Chinese government would also provide Rs 250 billion for the project while the Sindh government would also have a share of Rs50 billion in the project.

Sewerage and solid waste management projects are also included in the Karachi Transformation Plan to be announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Eight sewerage project costing around Rs 162.60 billion and four solid waste management project with an estimate of Rs 14.86 billion will be announced by the prime minister, they said.

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The plan also includes repair works of the road infrastructure with an estimated cost of Rs 62.30 billion while Rs 4.60 billion would be earmarked for two water drain projects.

Karachi’s problems: Will the plan turn into reality?

Some analysts are of the view that the plan may not reach to its logical conclusion to resolve Karachi’s problems due to the city’s complex political structure. PPP is in power in Sindh. MQM-P apparently controls Karachi. PTI won a large number of seats from the city.

“The PTI, PPP and MQM are,” argues Fahd Husain, “not a love triangle”. He also opines that “expecting them to join hands is expecting almost too much”. Fahd raised an important question: “Each has a significant vote bank in Karachi.

This vote bank comes accompanied with vested interests of the political and commercial kind. Then there’s land. And turf. And property. A potent cocktail, if ever there was one. How will this trio — with many smaller stakeholders nipping at their heels — get difficult things done?”

The people of Karachi dethroned the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan – the undisputed overlords of Karachi for the past decade and a half, and elected the PTI to power. PTI’s candidates returned on 14 of the 21 National Assembly seats in the city. PTI came to power in the Centre as well. Some analysts blame the incumbent federal government for failing Karachi.

Read More: PM Khan to visit “monsoon-broken” Karachi

Keeping into view the complex nature of politics, Fahd Husain argues that: “Plans have never been a problem. In fact, we have had too many of these plans resting peacefully in dusty files. The issue here is how to turn them into reality.”

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