Karachi, February 23, 2018 (PPI-OT): Megacities in whole world are given special attention and funds as they are considered revenue engines for national economies; however, this is not the case in Pakistan, where the mega cities like Karachi are still badly neglected. We demand that the constitution of Pakistan should be amended to add special provisions in it for a rapid uplift and better governance of the megacities, demanded Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor.
Addressing a crowded press conference at the Pasban Secretariat, Hasan Square here, he said the cities with a population of 10million or more are considered as megacities, and in all countries of the world these megacities are given preferential attention and special funds, as these megacities generate the lion’s share in the national economies. He said as the megacities have more population than even many smaller nations; hence, they need special budgets, efficient policing, professional administration and ample resources. He regretted that the Pakistani constitution recognizes provinces and districts, but it does not recognize the megacities.
He said as the general elections are coming near, many political ‘peddlers’ have entered the market to hoodwink the voters of Karachi. He said these people are trying their best to pose them as the saviour of Karachiites, but they do not have anything concrete to offer Karachi and the Karachiites, saving hollow slogans and false promises.
Altaf Shakoor said it is a matter of concern that when the patriotic parties like Pasban raise voice for the rights of Karachiites some elements try to give it an ethnic colour, which is not the case, as we are raising voice not only for Karachi, but also for the other megacity of Pakistan, Lahore. He said that any city with a population of 10million or more is called a megacity, which enjoys their special sort of government, policing and administration, but regretfully there is no mention of the megacities in our constitution. He said Pakistani constitution is silent about the needs and requirements of the megacities.
He said the Pasban strongly demands to amend the constitution to pave way for special status, recognition and rights for the megacities. He said the demand for a special constitutional status for megacities should not be considered as an ethnic slogan as it a truly patriotic and national demand.
He said we envision a megacity government that is not governed by the federal or provincial government, but directly elects its administrator and police chief, and it also enjoys the right to collect the megacity-related taxes. He urged the mainstream political parties to study the successful models of running major megacities of the world like New York, London and Tokyo and play their role to get replicated the applicable aspects of their models to the megacities of Karachi and Lahore.
He said though Lahore has already attained a lot of progress under the leadership of chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, but Karachi still is a big Wadera-run fiefdom. He said Karachi is a megacity and it should be treated as a true megacity, which would not be possible unless proper constitutional provisions are inserted by amending the present constitution. He hoped that all political parties and civil society groups would feel the importance of the concept of megacities and apply it practically to the megacities of Pakistan, especially Karachi.
He said presently there are three tiers of governments recognized by the constitution: federal, provincial and local. He said presently the megacities of Karachi and Lahore are being dealt under the local government, which does not cater the special needs of these mega cities. Hence, there should be two forms of local governments, local governments for union councils, town and district committees, and special metropolitan governments for the megacities.
He said Pasban has the honour to raise the strongest voice for the rights of Karachi citizens. He said we have played a crucial role in introducing issue-based, pro-people politics in Pakistan including Karachi and would continue to do so. To a question, he said that there is a popular demand for making Karachi a separate administrative province, but if proper constitutional provisions are created for the megacities, there would be practically no need of any new administrative province.
For more information, contact:
Pasban Central Secretariat
Office # 9, Five Star Center,
Block 11, University Road, Opp. Ibne Sina Hospital,