As administrator of Karachi, Murtaza Wahab wants to end the “politics of discrimination” – Pakistan
Karachi newly appointed trustee Barrister Murtaza Wahab expressed his commitment on Friday to end the “policy of discrimination” during his tenure, adding that he is still developing a plan to meet the city’s needs.
Wahab, who is also a spokesman for the Sindh government, voiced these views in a conversation with the Karachi media. He was appointed city administrator a day ago.
During today’s media talk, Wahab emphasized the need to put differences aside and work together to make the city better.
“I try not to think about the past. I think about the future … [and] will try to work [as the city administrator] without discrimination, ”he said.
“The Sindh government will lead the agenda [on this] and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and other local government agencies will implement it, “he said.
The administrator said he was ready to work with anyone for the good of Karachi, even officials from the federal government.
When asked about his plan to develop the city and solve its problems, he said he would not share his agenda yet as he was still doing his “homework”.
“I’m not someone who makes statements without homework. Let me assess the situation first. I will then make a game plan and share it.”
He said the city’s problems remained unsolved in recent years because “there was no direction”. “We’re trying to define that direction first.”
Wahab also said that no institution could function without resources, pointing out that the KMC must focus on tax collection in order to become financially independent.
“I have told KMC officials that there will be no sustainable solution [to the city’s problems] until the institution becomes financially independent. “
Wahab recalled that the KMC had served the city in the past and played its role in the development of the metropolis. “We’re going to work with the same people,” he said.
When asked about the city’s cleanliness problem, the administrator replied that it was primarily the responsibility of the municipal institutions, in particular the district authorities (DMCs).
“Of the six districts in Karachi, however, four districts are being dealt with by the Waste Management Committee and the remaining two – Korangi and Central District – by the DMCs,” he said, adding that the situation is much better in the districts where this is Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) was responsible for cleanliness.
The administrations of Central and Korangi districts had reached out to the SSWMB and the panel would begin waste management in one zone in Korangi district and two zones in Central district by the end of this month, he said.
“And you will see a noticeable difference.”
The manager added that while it would take some time to resolve the city’s water problem, he believed the problems related to the sewer system could be resolved soon. He said he would hold a meeting with the officials concerned on the matter.
Appointment as administrator
Wahab was named administrator of Karachi with immediate effect on Thursday, with the local government secretary announcing the appointment.
Earlier, on July 10, amid rumors that Wahab’s name was being promoted for the post, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that Wahab’s appointment as city administrator was unacceptable to him at all costs.
He had stressed that the Karachi administrator should be appointed after consultation between the PPP and the PTI. “The administrator will be the one who has administrative experience,” he had said.
Later, on July 24th, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had called the governor and insisted that his prerogative was to elect anyone for the post of administrator.
When asked about the governor’s reservations about such a development, the CM said: “The governor and the PTI have no right to object to the appointment.” [of Murtaza Wahab] as a Karachi administrator.
He said the PPP believed in the right of every institution to work in its field. “Other political parties should also behave and operate in accordance with the Constitution and the law in exercising their authority, powers, etc.,” he added.
Wahab’s journey into mainstream power politics began in 2015, almost three years after the death of his mother and senior PPP leader Senator Fouzia Wahab, when he was appointed advisor to the prime minister.
However, in November 2016, the Sindh Supreme Court ruled his appointment as legal advisor to CM illegal, while also revoking his chairmanship of the Board of Governors of Karachi Law Schools.
Wahab made another leap when he was unanimously elected senator in August 2017 and ended his term in March 2018. The seat had become vacant after Saeed Ghani’s resignation.
His role became more active after the 2018 elections, and in the new Sindh government he was seen as more aggressive and engaged in representing the PPP and its provincial government.
His appointment became almost evident a few weeks ago when, in a one-on-one interview with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, he was valued for his “service” in Karachi and encouraged to continue doing so.