Financial corruption: Farooq Sattar demands probe against Sindh govt

Business Recorder

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) senior leader and head of Organization Restoration Committee (ORC) Dr Farooq Sattar on Sunday urged the government to form a high level commission to conduct a detailed audit of what he called Sindh government’s financial corruption during the last 12 years, especially after the province was granted additional powers and resources under the 18th constitutional amendment, and National Finance Commission (NFC).
Addressing a crowded press conference flanked with All Karachi Tajir Ittehad (AKTI) Chairman Atiq Mir and other businessmen at Karachi Press Club (KPC) Farooq alleged that the Pakistan People’s Party-led (PPP) provincial government has done mega corruption of around Rs3,000 billion during the last 12 provincial budgets, alone. “This was the hard earned tax money of poor people of Sindh, and Karachi, we want a detailed audit to be conducted,” he said.
Also, he asked the Sindh government to allow traders, shopkeepers etc to open their businesses from 10am to 10pm instead of 6pm in Karachi with immediate effect. A Handful number of women associated with beauty parlours and saloons were also present on this occasion, who urged the government to allow them to resume their businesses. Farooq also called for the audit of the 2017 census results, saying the population of Karachi was under represented and the federal government has approved the same without taking into account the genuine concerns of Karachiites.
He asked the provincial government to stop ‘step motherly treatment’ with Karachi –a city home to every individual Pakistanis. He said Karachi feeds the whole of Pakistan but a conspiracy is being hatched against it. He blamed the Sindh government for deliberately destroying the business and trade environment of the city by misuse of state machinery and harassment of traders under the garb of coronavirus SOPs and lockdown.
“I am giving an SOS call to the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and the Army Chief to protect Karachi and help end discriminations against it,” Farooq said.
Elaborating, he said that firstly the educated youth of urban Sindh was deprived of their right to employment in the government departments by the Sindh government through induction of fake domicile holders from the rural Sindh. Later on, the door of professional institutions such as admissions in medical colleges and universities was closed on our youth, due to the decades-old unconstitutional quota system which is still prevalent. Then, the resources and powers of local government of Urban Sindh – Karachi, Hyderabad were seized by the provincial government under the garb of the 18th constitutional amendment. Now Waderas and landlords are trying to colonize Karachi by targeting the remaining business and trade activities.
Farooq said he would file case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the quota system.
He said the Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Assistant Commissioners (AC), and corrupt police SHOs are busy minting money from the traders under the garb of Covid-19 SOPs. Farooq smells a big conspiracy behind the enforced closure of trade and business activities in Karachi. He said small domestic industries, marriage halls, markets, saloons etc are being corporatized by the provincial government.
He said not even a single DC and AC currently posted in Karachi belongs to Karachi. Most of the SHOs posted in Karachi does not hold domicile of this city, and this reflects sheer administrative discrimination on the part of bias Sindh government.
Atiq Mir on this occasion said that families of 4 million daily wagers in Karachi are the worst affectees under the ongoing lockdown. He said that the provincial authorities deliberately destroyed Eid and marriage seasons, the peak business times. “We have been running from pillar to post to get their businesses resumed, but to no avail,” he said.
Seeking support from the stakeholders of Karachi, Atiq said the city traders would take to roads by the next weeks if their demands were not accepted by the government.

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