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Will turn Karachi into New York if elected to power, vows Shahbaz


News Analysis |

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has kick-started its election campaign from Karachi city on Monday.

People are deprived of their rudimentary requirements and injustice is widespread and police are used for political victimization.

Former Punjab chief minister and president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vowed to turn around the fate of the city. He claimed to transform Karachi into a city like Paris akin to Punjab’s much-talked-about capital Lahore. He sought the support of the people to upgrade the city by spending the huge development budget if voted in power.

PML-N chief addressed the gatherings at the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) office, Quaid-i-Azam mausoleum, and in Baldia Town constituency.

On April 22, when former CM of Punjab visited Karachi, he vowed to turn Karachi into New York.

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Responding to his claims, Bilawal had said that those claiming to turn Karachi into New York should first clean ‘Gawalmandi gutter’ [sewage lines in GawalMandi].

On this occasion, PPP’s outspoken leader and the former Deputy Speaker Provincial Assembly Sindh, Syeda Shehla Raza, also advised Shahbaz to first look at the open gutters of Gawal Mandi, before commenting on Karachi.

Shehbaz had first visited the city on April 14 and lambasted PPP’s performance in the city. He held PPP responsible for the deteriorating conditions in Sindh and particularly in Karachi.

He claimed to transform Karachi into a city like Paris akin to Punjab’s much-talked-about capital Lahore.

On Monday’s visit, PML-N president presented his socio-economic agenda at the FPCCI focusing on four major issues confronting Karachi.

He promised to solve the problems facing the city of lights. In recent years, Karachi has faced acute water shortages and electricity crises. Karachi’s filth has enraged the whole nation, despite promises, the situation is yet to be improved. Shahbaz promised to remove the garbage within 6-months if elected.

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Moreover, he said, “Metro bus service and Orange Line train should have come to Karachi first.” But he promised that massive improvements will be made in Karachi’s poor infrastructure and mass public transport system.

The PML-N president assured that cost of doing business can be decreased if one initiates one-window service through legislation.

Karachi generates about half of the government’s revenue and stability of this important port city is key to the stability of the only Muslim nuclear-armed country.

Karachi is buzzing with the political activity. Mainstream parties are also eyeing Karachi and targeting to achieve big in the city. After an impressive performance in 2013, PTI chief Imran Khan is contesting the upcoming elections from National Assembly constituency — NA-243 and Provincial Assembly constituency PS-101. PTI emerged as the second largest party in Karachi after MQM-P in 2013.

He vowed to introduce Metro Bus and Orange Train service in his Baldia Town constituency if elected.

In Karachi, MQM secured 16 out of 19 NA seats. PTI, PPP, and PML-N managed to win one seat a piece from Karachi.

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The PML-N leader is contesting the election from NA-249. While addressing the constituents, he promised to set up the 500-bed hospital, and a technical training center in the town.

He criticized the local leaders for corruption and transferring the government money to Dubai and other foreign destinations. He vowed to introduce Metro Bus and Orange Train service in his Baldia Town constituency if elected.

PPP’s government failed to deliver in Karachi and blamed the local government of MQM-P for failing to avert the crises.

Critics believe that PPP leadership had nothing concrete to present when it comes to healthcare, education, industry, and public transport in the city. People are deprived of their rudimentary requirements and injustice is widespread and police are used for political victimization.

PML-N and PTI have come up with their agenda to woo voters.

In election season, development slogans from political parties are not the welcome change required in the city reeling in water and electricity crises. Karachi needs results; it should no longer tolerate hallow rhetoric.