Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has announced holding a grand rally in January against the government’s discriminatory attitude towards the port city.
Accusing the Centre and the the Sindh government of corruption and bad governance, he said unemployment and street crime were on the rise in the metropolitan due to an economic crisis.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had paid mere lip service to Karachi’s issues and that the city had yet to receive the Rs1,100 billion package announced the PM for the country’s economic hub.
“Karachi is represented by those who even could not correctly count the population of the city,” said Rehman while addressing a protest demonstration held outside the Khazra Mosque in Karachi on Friday.
The protest was arranged as part of the party’s ‘Rights for Karachi Movement’. The party’s city chief demanded of the government to immediately hold local bodies’ polls.
Rehman said having an empowered city government was a basic right of Karachiites. He said the city was facing a host of issues, including power and gas shortage, and only an empowered local government could help resolve the problems.
He demanded of the government to hold a fresh census in the city. “Karachi runs the country’s economy, but the city has been deprived of water, electricity and gas.”
He claimed that not a single public project had been completed since the end of the tenure of former Karachi mayor Nematullah Khan, who belonged to his party. “Karachi’s problems were only solved in times of Abdul Sattar Afghani and Nematullah Khan.”
Had the government been serious to improve its governance, he said it would have at least repaired the city’s roads which were in a shambles for a long time. “Neither the government has done anything to improve the city’s drainage system.”
He said both the federal and provincial governments had failed Karachiites, with the former failing to complete the Green Line project and the latter failing to complete the Orange Line project.
“The incompetence and criminal negligence of the PTI, the PPP and the MQM-P destroyed Karachi,” he said. “The present PTI government, despite the passage of two and a half years, has failed to resolve the fundamental issues.”
Rehman said the committee formed to solve the problems of Karachi had too failed to solve the problems of the city.
JI lawmaker Syed Abdul Rashid also addressed the demonstration, while information secretary Zahid Askari, Sufyan Dilawar and Zahoor Ahmad Jadoon were also present. Carrying banners and placards, a large number of workers took part in the demonstration.