Megacity status key to lasting peace, reversal back to chaos not acceptable, Altaf Shakoor


Karachi: Condemning in strongest possible words the assassination of MQM’s former MNA Raza Ali Abdi, Pasban Democratic Party President Altaf Shakoor has said that the reversal back to chaos and lawlessness is not acceptable, and the key to a lasting peace in Karachi is giving it a megacity status and megacity form of government.
In a statement here Wednesday, Altaf Shakoor said Raza Ali Abdi was the brightest and most enlightened face of MQM. He said the megacity has lost a young and promising politician. He said that recent killing spree of political workers in the megacity is worrisome and people are now asking: are we heading back to previous era of lawlessness and anarchy. Is the peace in Karachi going back to square one? He said unless the most pressing and core problem of Karachi is resolved, all cosmetic measures would not work. He said the core issue of Karachi is that this is a megacity but not being run by a true megacity government. He said this is because our constitution does not recognize the megacity form of local government and unless the constitution is amended, Karachi would not get true megacity governance. He appealed to the treasury and opposition parties in parliament to join hands in the larger interest of Karachi and Lahore and table and approve the much-needed amendment, urgently.
He said only a megacity government in Karachi would run the city on modern lines and improve its civic infrastructure, which is a must to spur local economy and create more jobs. He said more employment would also bring peace and harmony in the megacity. He said Karachi needs a lasting political stability as the rangers’ operation is not a permanent solution. He said Karachi should be run through its own megacity police department under its own elected police chief on the pattern of modern urban centers. He said Karachi police is presently teemed with incompetent manpower due to political appointments in past. He said the city police should be purged from these black sheep and educated and dedicated policemen should be recruited on merit.
Altaf Shakoor said the federal government of PTI has badly neglected Karachi, despite the megacity voters gave this party a thumbing trust. He suggested that Prime Minister Imran Khan should spend at least two days and two nights in Karachi every month to get firsthand knowledge about the megacity issues and also to resolve them swiftly. He said Karachi is the revenue engine of Pakistan, but the rulers are treating it as golden eggs laying goose. He asked the federal and provincial rulers to have a mercy on Karachi and Karachiites and give it needed attention and resources.
He said the sagging economy of Karachi is due to old-age public transport system in the megacity. He said it is an accepted rule of urban economy that modern commuting systems always boost it and give a true metropolitan face to these cities. He regretted that Karachi has got the poorest urban transport system amongst all megacities of the world. He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar to take a suo moto notice of pathetic public transport system in Karachi and order forming a Karachi public transport commission on the pattern of the Sindh water commission on urgent basis.


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