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KARACHI: Administrator KMC, and Sindh Government Spokesman Barrister Murtaza Wahab on Wednesday said that the provincial government has decided to stop anti-encroachment operation across Sindh on temporary basis.

“The anti-encroachment operation from Karachi to Kashmore will be temporarily suspended. The Sindh government has prepared an ordinance to stop the anti-encroachment operation. A commission will be set up under the ordinance to determine which non-commercial structures must not be demolished,” he said this while addressing a news conference in Sindh Assembly Committee Room here.

He said that those who are threatening should understand that this is not Karachi of 1990s or May 12, 2007, adding that Karachi is free and politics of separatism should come to an end

Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that a tragic incident took place on Wednesday in which lawyer Irfan Mehr was martyred. Condemning the incident he said that the accused will be arrested at the earliest.

He said that immediately after the incident, the Sindh Chief Minister met the police officials and also held a meeting on law and order. The Chief Minister took all the details from Additional IG Karachi. The Administrator said that whoever was behind the killing will be arrested and brought to justice.

He added that the Sindh government had said more than once that it is the duty of the government to protect the lives and property of the citizens and that is why laws are being made. Unfortunately the commercialization took place in last several months, adding that it started from the regime of Naimatullah Khan as City Nazim. “When the citizens approached the courts against it (commercialization), it was decided (by the court) that it is the prerogative of the city government,” he added.

The areas have been commercialized, the consequences of which are being felt today. “Underground system has not been created. This problem has spread all over Pakistan. Societies have been formed on agricultural land in Islamabad. It is asked that the building (Nasla Tower) is being demolished but why it is not happening in Bani Gala in Islamabad,” he added.

He said that the PPP passed a resolution in the Sindh Assembly on the issue anti-encroachment drive and urged the need of legislation so as to reduce miseries of the citizens. He said that those who held press conferences on Nasla Tower issue had ‘escaped’ from the Sindh Assembly.

He said that action should be taken against the establishments which are on drains but such buildings which had been constructed and are affecting the flow of water.

The PPP drafted the ordinance and sent to the Governor. “The Sindh Governor will approve the draft of the ordinance,” he hoped and added the ordinance was made purely in the interest of the citizens.

He said that the law is the same in Sindh as it is in Punjab but only a paragraph was added that the anti-encroachment drive should be stopped immediately until the committee decides. He said that the retired judge will be the head of the commission and it will decide whether to regularize the construction or not. The Administrator said that they would also get the ordinance passed by the assembly.

In a reply, he said that Sindh government is not allotting land for Nasla Tower as Sindhi Muslim Society was not its administrative control. This property was commercialized in 2007 at that time Mustafa Kamal was the City Nazim,” he said. After commercialization, the building control authority gave permission for construction. The land actually belonged to KMC and in 2000 the court ruled that the land was given to Sindhi Muslim Society in exchange for money.

In response to a question, Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that Mustafa Kamal wanted him to say something so that he could reply. “This is not Karachi of 1990; this is not Karachi of May 12.

He also asked MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to stop the politics of ‘segregation’. Barrister Murtaza Wahab asked MQM-P that it had been in the coalition federal government for three and a half years and what has Imran Khan done for this city. “The Prime Minister did not even listen to your (MQM-P) census demand,” he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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