Fourth-time groundbreaking for K-IV project meant only to mislead people, says Naeem

Our Correspondent
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Criticising the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the K-IV bulk water supply project, Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman has said that holding the groundbreaking ceremony for the project for the fourth time only meant misleading the public.

He said this while addressing a press conference at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, the Karachi JI headquarters, on Saturday.

He said the ruling coalition partners —Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz — knew well how to mislead the nation.

He said Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had announced the completion of the project in two years with a cost of Rs126 billion. He added that the project’s cost was estimated at the same Rs126 billion some two years ago when the value of the US dollar was much lower compared to its current value.

Rehman wondered how it was possible for the government to project such illogical figures.

He said that under the project, water was to be supplied to Karachi through the Keenjher Lake but there had been no development on the ground in this regard.

He said the quota of water for Karachi from the Indus River was one per cent, whereas the completion of the 650 million gallon water per day K-IV project needed an additional one per cent quota from the river.

The JI leader asked what actions had so far been taken to increase the quota.

He added that the government needed to announce the timeframe for the completion of the first phase of the project, the capacity of which had been kept at 260 million gallons of water per day.

Rehman said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had talked about completion of development works with the prime minister but in fact, the PPP and its leadership had been hindering development works in Karachi.

Talking about the local government elections, he said the PPP could not get the required number despite employing all fascist tactics.

He added that both the PPP and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) were defacing the democracy in the country while resorting to political revenge on the pretext of reaction to the May 9 mayhem.

He said the PPP should respect the JI’s mandate and called for all-inclusive efforts for the progress and development of Karachi.

On Friday, he strongly denounced what he called “harassment” of elected chairmen from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) by the police, allegedly at the behest of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

He called upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) to intervene and fulfil their responsibilities in addressing this matter.

The demand was made after a meeting with a delegation of affected union council chairmen and vice chairmen on Friday. The delegation visited the Idara Noor-e-Haq to seek the support of the JI’s leader and share their grievances.

Rehman urged the ECP and the IGP to ensure a transparent nomination process for the upcoming towns and City Council elections.

He expressed concern over police actions of arresting local government elected representatives affiliated with the PTI ever since the party announced its support for the JI against the ruling PPP.

The JI leader described these incidents as a blatant display of fascism and called upon all state institutions and the ECP to take serious note of the matter. He strongly condemned the deployment of police vehicles to apprehend chairmen and vice chairmen who were merely trying to file their nomination papers. Rehman emphasised that the PTI local leaders had the constitutional and legal right to participate in the nomination process, and any attempt to prevent them from doing so was a clear violation of the law and the constitution.

Furthermore, the JI leader demanded that the PPP government respect the mandate of the people of Karachi and refrain from harassing elected representatives.

He warned that such fascist tactics would not lead the PTI or the ruling party anywhere.

Earlier, PTI local leaders shared their experiences and informed the JI leader about the pressure they faced from the PPP with the assistance of the police. Waseem Sherazi, Muhammad Ali Raza, Gulfam and others were part of the delegation that met the JI leader.