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KARACHI: Thousands of Karachiites attended a Karachi Rights Caravan’ here on Sunday under the banner of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Karachi chapter, demanding due rights for the megacity.

The Karachi Rights Caravan was taken out from the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and culminated at Super Market, Liaquatabad after passing through the neighbourhoods of Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, North Karachi, Sohrab Goth, Federal B Area, and other localities. Apart from the JI workers, social activists and people from all walks of life participated in the caravan.

Two ‘conventions’ were held at Hyderi Market and Liaquatabad Super Market. JI Karachi chief Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressed the caravan at the mausoleum of Quaid e Azam, Hyderi Market and Liaquatabad.

On the occasion, Engr Naeemur Rehman presented a ‘charter of demands’ and announced that the JI’s struggle will continue till acceptance of these demands in letter and spirit. He also announced to hold a big convention in Karachi on June 26.

He said some political parties after usurping the rights of Karachi are trying their level best to avoid the local bodies’ polls but they will not be allowed to do so. He said PPP, MQM, PTI and other parties will have to face their political fate in the city.

He predicted that Karachiites will reject in the upcoming local bodies’ elections all those who played a role for the downfall and destruction of the megacity.

He said that incapable and corrupt officials and water tanker mafia under the patronage of the government have created a very complicated water crisis for the sake of their own monetary benefits. He added that the only solution to the prevailing water supply crisis in the city was early completion of K4 water supply project.

He further said that the K4 project was introduced some 17 years ago but till today it was in the limbo. He said that the voters in Karachi have already rejected the massive capacity decrease from 650 million gallon water to 260 million gallon water in the project. He demanded of the government to complete the K4 water supply project on war footing basis.

The JI leader further said that corruption under political patronage has also hit hard the city when it comes to the electricity crisis. He demanded of the government to nationalize the private company K-Electric (KE) because it has not only failed to serve the purpose of the privatization of the then KESC but also looted the masses and taxpayers to the maximum extent.

He also demanded of the government to provide an immediate relief for Karachiites by bringing an end to over-billing and load shedding and paying back the Rs 42 billion claw back.

Engr Naeemur Rehman said that 30 million Karachiites have also rejected the flawed results of the population census held in 2017 by the PML-N government. The flawed census that showed only the half of Karachi’s total population provided the basis for injustice to the city also happened to be the economic hub of Pakistan, he said.

He demanded of the government to correct the results of population in Karachi and allocate it proper representation in the provincial and national assemblies as well as share in national financial resources, accordingly.

He said that the youths in Karachi are also facing sheer injustice when it comes to their share in opportunities for education and livelihood. The city generates the lion’s share in revenue and taxes for both the province and the centre but its citizens are deprived of even their due share in resources and opportunities, he regretted.

He further said that the quota system should come to an end with immediate effect. He also demanded a proper mass transit system for the city to resolve public transport issues.

Talking about the civic facilities, he said healthcare, education, gas supply, sports, solid waste management and other sectors should be brought under a proper mechanism.

He demanded of the Sindh government to act upon each and every clause of the agreement reached between the PPP government and the JI. He also demanded of the government to ensure implementation on the judiciary’s decision about Article 140-A of the constitution.

He maintained that the government in Sindh was constitutionally bound to frame an empowered local bodies system run by an elected government.

Addressing the federal government, he said that if the central government was intended to provide a relief to the masses, it needs to immediately withdraw the decision about massive increase in petrol prices. The JI leader said that unfortunately all e political parties played their role against the interests of Karachi and the time has now come for Karachiites to reject all of them. The JI had made Karachi the city of lights and peace and will do so again if elected, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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