Karachi - PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday vowed to turn Karachi into New York if his party is elected in the upcoming elections to govern Sindh.
On his second visit to the port city in a week, Shehbaz addressed public gatherings in Bihar Colony, an area of PPP stronghold Lyari, and Baldia Colony.
He warned the masses against Zardari-Niazi nexus but claimed that his trip was not aimed at political point-scoring.
The president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz asked the people to reject Paksitan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the upcoming polls, alleging that their leaderships have joined hands to work against the stability brought by the PML-N government.
Earlier, he met with the leadership of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (Bahadurabad faction) led by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Awami National Party leader Shahi Syed.
He was welcomed by Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair Umar and other PML-N leaders and activists upon his arrival at the Jinnah International Airport, from where he went directly to the ANP’s provincial headquarters Mardan House to have an hour-long meeting with Shahi Syed.
Punjab chief minister then visited MQM-Pakistan makeshift headquarters in Bahdurabad to meet the MQM leaders including Kahild Siddiqui, Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter and Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan.
Addressing the media after meeting with MQM-P leaders, Shehbaz Sharif expressed disappointment over dismal situation of Karachi’s roads and streets, which are filled with garbage and dug up for long-pending construction work. He said that leaving the city of lights in this condition was not less than a crime against its citizens.
“There is a long tale of crimes committed against this city,” he said. “Where those billons of rupees have been spent that were allocated for the city?” he asked, adding, that he had no idea who would win from Karachi but vowed to change its fate if his party got a chance.
He credited his brother and ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif for bringing peace to the port city and said that it was due to his initiative and empowering the Rangers that peace has returned to almost whole of the city.
“I agree with Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui that peace and justice are linked with each other and the city wants transformation and should be provided with social and economic change,” he said, adding that Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhter had informed him of the problems and they now have to bring prosperity and economic stability to Karachi.
Blaming K-Electric for excessive power loadshedding in the city, the PML-N president said the power company had failed to run power generation projects under its control and kept depending on cheap electricity from Wapda. He said there was a dire need to make the K-Electric accountable.
“I have requested Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbbasi to look into the matter and ensure relief to the citizens as the month of Ramazan is approaching,” he said. The prime minister would be visiting the city next day, he added.
He also announced to establish one of the biggest universities of South Asia in Karachi after victory in elections.
During the meeting, the MQM-Pakistan appealed to PML-N president to play his role in resolving the issue of loadshedding.
They also asked him to ensure speedy initiation and completion of the federal government’s development projects for Karachi and Hyderabad, and appoint Karachi mayor as a focal person for these projects.
They said an amendment should be made to devolve powers to the lower roots of democracy i.e. union councils.
The MQM-P also demanded restoration of sacked Karachi Port Trust employees and their job regularisation.
They said to Shehbaz that besides ensuring funds for Hyderabad Mayor, as promised by centre, a federal government university should be established in the second largest city of the province.
Speaking to media, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that they had also informed the PML-N president of massive irregularities in census process in the city as Karachi’s population was shown less than the estimated population of over 25 million.
“Conspiracy through which the city’s population is shown less will not help in bringing peace and prosperity to the city,” he said, adding that the funds promised by the federal government should be provided speedily so that it could be proved that the people living here are not second or third degree citizens.
Earlier, after meeting with Shehbaz Sharif, ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed said that he was a nationalist and he considered Shehbaz also a real nationalist as he had made great achievements in making Punjab the most developed province of the country.
Shahi said it was good to see that political forces were joining hands for the betterment of the city and they all should mull over the ways to develop Karachi.
“We have to eliminate terrorism from the country through proper implementation on National Action Plan and it can only be done through joint efforts,” he said. He extended full support for the PML-N president in his efforts to bring peace and stability in the city.
Shehbaz vows to turn Karachi into New York