–Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar says PSP chief played politics over Karachi’s cleanliness issue
–Mustafa Kamal denies playing politics, says he called Akhtar ‘my boss in front of entire world’
KARACHI: A day after “appointing” Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal as “Project Director Garbage on a voluntary basis” to clean the provincial metropolis, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Tuesday “suspended” the former city mayor from the post.
While addressing the press today, Akhtar said: “He (Kamal) had said in his press conference that he wanted to work for Karachi and take charge of the municipal tasks that the mayor currently has.
“In good faith, I responded positively to his request, setting aside all the differences we had had in the past. Everything that he has said about me and to me on a personal and professional level is on record; in spite of all of that, I said that I will let this man take the position, for the sake of the people of Karachi.
“But my sincerity was misused,” alleged Akhtar.
“It was given the colour of politics. You (Kamal) used my move to play politics; you took out a rally, gathered your party workers, called the media and started saying those same vile things that you had said about me before. This proves that you are not sincere, it means that all you wanted to do was play politics.
“What should have happened was that you should have come to the municipal works department head office, and given a formal joining there. You should have shared your 90-day plan and the formula you have for clearing Karachi in 90 days with us so that we all could have proceeded on the matter with seriousness.
“Instead, you held a press conference and tried to act like you had been given all mayoral powers; you started acting like districts had come under you. That is not the case, you had been made the project director of garbage and you had to work under the mayor’s office to clean this city up,” the mayor said, responding to claims made in Kamal’s press conference on Monday night where he had said that he would be responsible for municipal services of the 130 union committees and four district municipal corporations being controlled by the MQM-P.
“You are not a member of the National Accountability Bureau that you can summon the financial records and files of the department, you do not have that authority.
“In light of all of this, today I have made the decision of suspending Kamal from the position he was given yesterday,” the mayor concluded.
Responding to Akhtar’s allegations, Kamal said: “If I was playing politics, I would not have called a man, who is the member of my opposing party, my boss in front of the entire world.”
Kamal said that he had received calls from many non-governmental organisations that offered to help him but he had refused because he “wanted to bring state machinery into use”.
He also dismissed Akhtar’s argument that Kamal should have reported to the mayor’s office and shared his plan.
“This city has become a ruin because you keep sitting in your office,” the former mayor said.
“The current resources and authority [granted to the mayor] are enough to manage the city,” Kamal added. He repeated his “offer” to clean the city within three months if granted the authority that the mayor possessed.
The former Karachi mayor also addressed the Prime Minister Imran Khan and said: “You have sent many senior politicians to jail for corruption, why don’t you take notice of the corrupt practices that are taking place right under your nose, that are ruining your country’s jugular vein?”
A day earlier, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) found itself in a rather awkward position after its Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar appointed the party’s chief nemesis Mustafa Kamal to clean the megacity “on a voluntary basis with immediate effect”.
According to the Notification Number Mayor/KMC/134/2019, dated August 26, 2019, the appointment was originally made for a period of 90 days.
“In the light of the statement made and reported in electronic and print media that Syed Mustafa Kamal has shown his willingness to clean the city of Karachi within 90 days, I being mayor of Karachi, hereby designate Syed Mustafa Kamal as project director for garbage on voluntary basis with immediate effect and until further orders,” read the letter signed by Akhtar.
Kamal, a former MQM leader who went on to form PSP two years ago, had accepted Akhtar’s challenge to help clean the city.
Prior to the development, the MQM-P, PSP, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have been engaged in a heated war of words over the administration’s failure in dealing with the disastrous aftermath of the recent spell of monsoon rains and sad state of affairs of water, sewerage and solid waste management in the city – that is home to over 20 million people.
Kamal, who served as the city’s mayor when he was part of the MQM, had earlier held Akhtar responsible for the city’s deplorable condition. He claimed that he would show how to clean the city if given back the same powers for “only 90 days”.