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Sindh government considers Karachi an ATM, Dr. Farooq Sattar

Dr. Farooq Sattar, a former senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), blasted outgoing Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar for shedding “crocodile tears”. But he also argued that Sindh government has been using Karachi as its "ATM" machine.

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Dr. Farooq Sattar, a former senior leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), on Tuesday, termed Mayor Wasim Akhtar’s outburst at yesterday’s farewell press conference “crocodile tears”. He also regretted that the Sindh government considers Karachi an ATM.

Speaking to a private TV, he said the Karachi mayor kept mum over four years of his tenure by operating in collusion (muk mukka) with parties he has now been complaining about.

Farooq Sattar said the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) got Rs4 billion grant from the Sindh government every year for uplift schemes besides funds from the federal government yet the mayor had been griping about lack of funds.

Read More: Will PPP join PTI for Karachi’s development?

Wasim Akhtar had gotten visibly emotional while addressing the farewell press conference at the KMC head office yesterday, throwing away bundle of letters, he said, he had written to the chief minister, the prime minister and others.  “I wrote several letters to the federal and Sindh governments for resolution of Karachi’s problems, but got no replies”, he said. “The Sindh government considers Karachi an ATM and it now wants to further divide the city.”

“Go, leave the city be,” CJP to Mayor Karachi

It is important to note that the Supreme Court of Pakistan recently lambasted the authorities responsible for Karachi while hearing a case related to billboards being swept away during strong winds and causing injuries and deaths.

The SC bench, under Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, criticized Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, the Sindh government, electricity utility K-Electric and others over what it called dereliction of duty.

During the hearing, the CJP asked where the mayor of the city was, noting that Akhtar is always complaining about lack of powers. “Go home if you do not have authority; why are you sitting as a mayor?” remarked the CJP.

Justice Ahmed then inquired about the tenure of the mayor, to which Akhtar, who presented himself before the court, responded that he will leave the post on August 28. “Go, leave the city be,” lashed out the CJP, saying that the mayor of the city is responsible for the destruction of the city during their tenure.

“The mayor Karachi seems to have a vendetta against the city, [even though] people voted for him so that he could do something for Karachi,” said the judge.

Army is cleaning Karachi?

The Pakistan Army teams have also kicked off the cleanliness campaign in Karachi to assist the civil administration in removing dirt and garbage from the city’s major storm-drains.

The army-run Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) personnel initiated cleaning operation at Gujjar Nullah in Nazimabad with over 50 dumpers, cranes and other machinery to remove the garbage, which had choked the flow of water in the drain during recent monsoon rainfall and submerged adjacent area.

As electrocution deaths in Karachi are increasing, Sindh Rangers personnel have also been deployed at the site of the drain clearance work which is led by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The garbage from the sewerage drain being immediately transferred to the landfill site. The drain clearance work has also been started at ‘Cafe Piyala’, an area in the Federal B Area of the metropolis with heavy machinery and other equipment.

Read More: Army called in Karachi: Where is the Sindh government?

After the 18th amendment, argue analyst, it was made sure that the provinces took charge of the local issues and 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 in the country’s largest city has always been a big challenge. But it remained largely unaddressed. The federal government is not doing what the Sindh government should have done long ago, argue political analysts.