KARACHI - In what appears to be a hastily-taken decision, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday reversed appoint of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal as project director (garbage) on the ground that the latter was playing politics.

On Monday, in a sudden announcement after a presser by Mustafa Kamal claiming he could get the city cleaned in three months, the mayor announced appointment of Kamal as project director (garbage) in the evening. The PSP chief welcomed the challenge and demanded resignation of the mayor over his failure to resolve the garbage issue and other cleanliness related issues of the city.

The PSP chief went to Asghar Ali Shah Stadium in Nazimabad late on Monday night along with his party members to initiate his campaign and claimed that some of the local government officials were not cooperating with him on the directives of the city mayor.

On Tuesday morning, the mayor issued another notification, suspending appointment of the former city mayor and once a member of his own party.

Talking to the media after reversing his decision, Akhtar said he agreed to Mustafa Kamal’s proposal to clean the city within three months and appointed him voluntarily to perform his duties.

However, he said that his decision in good faith for betterment of the city was used for political gains by Mustafa Kamal. “If he is given charge of something, he should reach out to me and inform about his plans to clean the city but he rather used it to take out rallies, invite media and use foul language against the local government representatives,” he said, adding that Kamal was considering himself the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when he accused the local government of corruption and China-cutting rather than lifting garbage.

He accused Kamal of using foul language against senior officials of the local government after he was given the charge. Responding to the mayor’s decision at a hurriedly called presser at his party headquarters-Pakistan House- Kamal said he was not playing politics over the garbage issue and was removed from the office after he asked for a briefing from the financial adviser of the local government.

“I asked top local government authorities as to how many sweepers have been appointed? In which part of the city are they working? What kind of machinery authorities have and where is it being used in the city?” he said. He said that since these details would expose the city mayor, they were not shared with him.

The former Karachi mayor said that MQM-P enjoys power in four of six districts in the city. He said the mayor and the local government are responsible for cleaning the city. “The city is mocked for heaps of garbage, abundance of flies and mosquitoes,” he said and added that in the current situation the mayor and all four distinct chairmen hailing from MQM-P should be held accountable before the masses and they should resign from their posts. He said this situation has once again proved that it was not a matter of powers; it was the issue of not playing the due role.

“As soon as I was appointed in-charge of the garbage project, people from all walks of life, including those associated with the MQM-P, assured me of their support in the drive,” he said, adding that he came on the ground even in the midnight and decided to work day and night for betterment of the city.

Kamal said that MQM-P convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui should do accountability of his party men as their acts were bringing disgrace to their party. He reiterated his demand for army chief’s intervention. General Qamar Javed Bajwa must take notice of how affairs of the economic hub of the country are being run and offered that if given chance he would clean the city in three months. He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan as to why he was silent on the issue of corruption in the city. He said that they had now come on roads and would not stay back and would play their role in cleaning the city from garbage.

MAYOR MUST RESIGN, SAYS

MURTAZA WAHAB

Spokesman for the Sindh government and Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Law, Environment and Costal Development Murtaza Wahab said the mayor must resign from his office because he had no moral ground to stay. He said this while addressing media persons at Media Corner at the Sindh Assembly Building.

The sanitary situation in Karachi is far from perfect. To put it mildly, Pakistan largest City and economic heart present the pictures of a giant garbage dump due to the not taking interest by Akhtar.  The MQM stressed city administration had been indulging in an ugly blame game about who is responsible for the state of affairs in Karachi, to make thing more interesting for the PTI-led federal government.

Interestingly, the federal government aided by the MQM has launched the Clean Karachi campaign to spruce up the city perhaps realising that this may make them look bad politically. The Sindh government has launched a Blue Jacket announcement of its own to prevent littering. All these steps are being taken by the Sindh government.

He said that Mustafa Kamal accepted the challenge, but the Karachi mayor dramatically escaped the path because he knew he could not survive. Wahab said while answering questions of journalists the city mayor issued a notification, which might have legal complications but the PPP remained silent in the larger interest of Karachi. Kamal tried to work, but he was not allowed. He said the federal government’s utterances now depend on their utterances. He formed an alliance to bring the government to the bargaining votes of Karachi.

SATTAR DEMANDS MAYOR’S

RESIGNATION

Former MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar talking to media blamed both sides for playing politics on garbage of the city and said that it was an insult to the masses of the city who are forced to live in the unhygienic condition with heaps of garbage.

He blamed Karachi Mayor for not making himself accountable for Rs15 billion embezzlement in local government funds and said that he was expelled from the party when questioned regarding the funds from both MQM-P incumbent convener and the mayor. He also demanded MQM-P to immediately take resignation from the mayor and said that if no action is taken against him then it becomes evident that party office-bearers are also involved in it.

Sattar said that MQM-P has gone down during the incumbent convener tenure and a plan is in the offing to deprive the party from mayorship in next local bodies polls. He also demanded to immediate intra-party polls within MQM-P and appointment of Syed Sardar Ahmed as interim chief of the party.