Ghani wants to give Karachi Mayor pow­ers he de­serves

The Financial Daily - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI: De­spite po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences and long­stand­ing ri­valry, Sindh Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Saeed Ghani and Karachi Mayor Wasim Ak­thar ad­dressed a press con­fer­ence to­gether on Thurs­day where they spoke about putting aside their dif­fer­ences to work for the peo­ple.

The two have long been at log­ger­heads about lo­cal gov­ern­ment pow­ers in the city. Akhtar also butted heads with former min­is­ter Jam Khan Shoro. The MQM, of which Akhtar is a mem­ber, has been vo­cal in its de­mand for more pow­ers for the mayor.

"We will butt heads some­times but when it comes to help­ing the peo­ple we won't fight," said Ghani, who is from the PPP. He said that the pow­ers awarded to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and no­tably the Karachi Met­ro­pol­i­tan Cor­po­ra­tion, un­der the law should be given to them.

He said he will try to en­sure this and go to the chief min­is­ter if he has to. He ex­pects no road­blocks from the CM or his party.

Part of their plan is to hold a meet­ing with Karachi's district mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion chair­men to hear their is­sues and help them re­solve them. Ghani said he wants to use UC coun­cilors and other lower level lo­cal gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives to re­solve the peo­ple's is­sues.

"I can't solve ev­ery­thing - no one can," he said, adding that they should make use of the peo­ple they have on board.

He said they will be work­ing on traf­fic law en­force­ment and the re­moval of en­croach­ments. How­ever, Ghani clar­i­fied that when he says he will del­e­gate pow­ers to the KMC and mayor, he means the pow­ers al­ready granted to them un­der the LG Act, 2013.

"At this time, we can only act un­der the ex­ist­ing law," he said, adding that the mayor be­lieves that they do not have all the func­tions that the law has given to them.

The next step, which they haven't spo­ken about yet, is get­ting them more pow­ers. Ghani said even­tu­ally, Karachi's lo­cal gov­ern­ment should have the same pow­ers de­volved to them as other cities in the coun­try do.

When asked whether the ri­valry be­tween par­ties, specif­i­cally ri­val­ries in cer­tain neigh­bour­hoods, would hin­der their ef­forts, Ghani said if the MQM mayor and PPP LG min­is­ter want to fix things, they won't stop each other from work­ing.

"We have po­lit­i­cal dif- fer­ences, and that's okay, but we need to ful­fill the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties we have as elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives," the min­is­ter said.

Sur­pris­ingly, he also spoke about room for im­prove­ment in the LG Act. By us not "ac­cept­ing" the law, the law doesn't change, he said.

"If I think there's some­thing that can be im­proved in the law I will take it to the assem­bly. The mayor can also ask his party's rep­re­sen­ta­tives to bring up any is­sues or sug­ges­tions in the assem­bly," he said, adding that they must make use of the mech­a­nism in place to im­prove laws.

One re­porter asked what hap­pens when 'ter­ror­ists' and 'thieves', re­fer­ring to the MQM and PPP re­spec­tively, get to­gether. He was re­fer­ring to com­ments made by mem­bers of ei­ther party against their po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents.

"When we weren't meet­ing you peo­ple were wor­ried. Now we're to­gether and you're more wor­ried," laughed Ghani. Pol­i­tics isn't a bad thing, he said.

"If I think as a PPP min­is­ter and he as an MQM mayor, we won't get any­thing done," he said, re­peat­ing that they are putting aside their po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences to work for the peo­ple.

"We have the same views on this. We are sit­ting here to re­solve is­sues to­gether. We have to sep­a­rate pol­i­tics from our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties," said Akhtar.

"We want to re­solve peo­ple's is­sues, not ex­ac­er­bate them," com­mented Ghani. - NNI

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.