KARACHI: The first day of the legislative session in the Sindh Assembly was marked by strong protests from the opposition along with a walkout over the provincial government’s decision to carve out a new district in Karachi.
Terming the formation of Keamari as the seventh district of the metropolis a political maneuver by the Sindh government, the opposition legislators strongly protested the move and walked out.
MMA’s Syed Abdul Rasheed was the first one to walk out in protest after he was denied permission to speak on the issue. After Rasheed, MQM-P MPA Muhammad Hussain Khan was also not granted permission by the chair to speak on the formation of a new district in Karachi, following which legislators of the MQM-P resorted to vocal protest in the house.
The members were also seen carrying posters against the Sindh government’s decision to form a new district in Karachi.
MQM-P legislators surrounded the rostrum of the speaker during their protest and chanted slogans saying “the division of Karachi is unacceptable” and “formation of politicized district unacceptable”. The protest by the opposition MPAs resulted in chaos and the deputy speaker was unable to conduct the question hour.
Later, MQM-P and PTI lawmakers walked out of the house, but later ended their boycott of the proceedings of the session.
Karachi administrators to be natives of the city: PPP
Meanwhile, in a meeting chaired by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, it was decided that the next administrators of Karachi will be ‘natives’ of the city.
The new administrators will be appointed after the completion of the terms of the Karachi mayor and the DMC chairmen, the meeting decided.
The meeting had noted that it was not necessary that city administrators, who would head municipal agencies, should belong to the provincial bureaucracy as they could also be members of the civil society.
Bilawal told the meeting that there was no basis to demand that the federal government should assume control of Karachi on the basis of civic problems caused due to natural reasons.
“If such demands are made then it will not remain specific to the case of Karachi,” he warned. The PPP chairman said Karachi was his city and its development was dear to him.
“The people of Karachi have the right to make decisions about their native city and the federal government should not decide about the capital city of Sindh,” Bilawal said.
He added that the PPP, being the ruling party of the province, would not make any compromise on the authority vested in the party on the basis of the mandate given by the people of Sindh. He said politics on the basis of ethnicity and hatred had only multiplied Karachi’s civic problems.
Bilawal said only the PPP could provide solutions to the problems of Karachi. “Like all citizens of Pakistan, I stand with each and every resident of Karachi.”
He said the Sindh government had been doing a commendable job to develop Karachi but there was a need to further accelerate and expand this work. “There will be no compromise on the continuity of efforts to resolve Karachi’s issues.”