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October 12, 2018

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LG minister pledges all possible support for mayor

LG minister pledges all possible support for mayor

The provincial government will ensure that the Karachi mayor can exercise all the powers which the law has conferred on him.

Sindh Minister for Local Government Saeed Ghani said this while addressing a joint press conference with Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) Building.

Ghani said he met Akhtar to rule out the impression that he was avoiding the mayor as the latter belonged to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P). The local government minister claimed that before meeting the mayor, he had also not met any elected local government chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Commenting on the MQM-P’s criticism of the Sindh Local Government Act 2013, which according to the party does not confer enough powers on the mayor, Ghani said the MQM-P can move an amendment law in the Sindh Assembly if it wants the law to be changed.

The minister told media personnel that he had an amicable meeting with the mayor and both of them agreed to take measures to resolve problems being faced by people without any discrimination.

Ghani vowed that the Sindh government will serve people of Karachi without keeping their political affiliations into consideration. He declared that he had no conflict with the mayor and he wanted to extend all possible help to Akhtar within the limits set by the law. The minister said he will even approach the chief minister to facilitate the mayor in providing services to the people of Karachi.

Responding to a query, the minister said there was a room for improvement in the local government system for which the relevant law could be amended through the provincial assembly. The law is not a Sahifa (scripture), he said, adding that he, however, cannot change the law in his individual capacity.

Ghani also commented on traffic issues of the city. He claimed that traffic problems of Karachi can be resolved if encroachments are removed from the roads.

The mayor, who has earlier vehemently criticised the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government on multiple occasions for not giving him necessary powers, did not exhibit any bitterness against the provincial government. He repeatedly said “we both would work jointly” for the betterment of the city and its people.

When asked whether the mayor had taken any U-turn, both the minister and mayor replied in the negative. To another question regarding water shortage in Karachi, Ghani said the city was receiving only 35 per cent of its water requirement. The only solution to address water shortage issue of Karachi is a desalination plant that can treat seawater, he said. Ghani was asked several questions about the performance of his department. I cannot perform a miracle in just one-and-a-half month, he told the media personnel.

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