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Muttahida slams PM for ignoring Karachi (Courtesy by Dawn)

Muttahida slams PM for ignoring Karachi (Courtesy by Dawn)
 Posted on: 5/25/2016
Muttahida slams PM for ignoring Karachi

KARACHI: At a time when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying hard to survive the Panama Papers leaks crisis, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Tuesday accused him of using national resources for giving “political bribes” to his allies to buy their loyalty and ignoring Karachi and urban areas of Sindh.

“Allies [of the PM] are being rewarded in exchange of their loyalty, as several development projects have been initiated after the Panama Papers leaks,” senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar told a press conference here at the party’s Azizabad headquarters.

Referring to several projects worth billions of rupees that had been initiated following the Panama Papers controversy, he said the entire nation was paying the price of the PM’s friendship with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, as the former had announced development projects to please him.

Accompanied by Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hasan, MQM’s Karachi mayoral nominee Waseem Akhtar and others, he said the government was now initiating projects in Balochistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor because Hasil Bizanjo and Mehmood Khan Achakzai were attached to Nawaz Sharif. “Are these projects of national importance or are meant for rewarding a coalition of a few political parties,” he said.

In contrast, he said, the federal government ignored the urban areas of Sindh and Karachi, as not a single rupee had been allocated for mega development projects.

He said the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) project was initiated, but it was being constructed on a build-operate-transfer basis by the private sector and those using it would have to pay a hefty toll tax.

Dr Sattar, a senior deputy convener of the MQM’s coordination committee, said the mega projects in other parts of the country were harming the national solidarity. “Nawaz Sharif should tell us whether he is the prime minister of only some specific areas of Pakistan...will he continue to give political bribes to his allies for the sake of securing his rule?”

He said that national political parties should think what kind of treatment was being meted out to the people of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas by both federal and provincial governments, which were abusing national resources and initiating development projects only to protect their and their allies’ interests.

The MQM leader demanded that the federal government construct the Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway from its resources; revive the Karachi Circular Railway and construct a 300-kilometre corridor from Karachi to Bisma, a town near Gwadar, to link the metropolis with the CPEC.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2016

10/23/2016 4:45:35 AM