Islamabad - Absence of Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz from the meeting of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad on Thursday irked the opposition members who blamed the mayor for poor performance of the corporation.

Dy Mayor Riffat Javed who chaired the session in the absence of the mayor pointed out quorum and prorogued the session after just 7 minutes of the proceedings when the opposition members protested absence of the mayor. They were of the view that the mayor was busy in performing protocol duties for the PML-N Quaid and his daughter outside the accountability court here. Earlier, the members waited for him for more than 90 minutes but he did not turn up. Only two deputy mayors and six treasury members were present in the meeting while the opposition members were in full presence in what was being considered the last session during the tenure of the incumbent federal government.  Opposition leader from PTI, Ali Awan protested postponement of the session. At the outset of the session, even a PML-N member chairman UC 10, Zahid Hussain criticized the mayor for being ‘continuously’ absent from the session. Another member MCI, Malik Rafique criticized the government for slow pace of the development projects in the city. The opposition members complained of Mayor’s poor performance and lamented that he remained busy in connection with protocol of the Sharif family. Criticising him for being uninterested in MCI affairs, they claimed that that the mayor does not want to face the opposition members. They vowed to requisite the session soon and highlight the issues being faced by residents of the city.

Meanwhile, due to incompetence and lack of resources, Margalla forest caught fire at four different points. The Environment directorate and Disaster and Management Unit of the CDA instead of taking concrete steps to curb such incidents have been blaming each other for the loss to the forest. Currently, fire has engulfed the areas at Monal, Saidpur, forest no 11 (RS) and Sinyari (forest 24 RS). Clouds of smoke can be seen rising from the hills but the authorities have been unable to avoid the losses due to lack of equipment to put out the fire. It is pertinent to mention that 13 such incidents have been reported from the Margalla Hills within previous 45 days.