Ali Zaidi, Sindh CM seek PM’s intervention after spat during Karachi committee meeting

DailyTimes  |  Jan 24, 2021

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and federal Minister for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi penned letters to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking his intervention after a terse exchange between the two during a meeting of the Karachi coordination committee on January 16, it emerged on Saturday.

In a series of posts on Twitter, the federal minister detailed his version of what transpired in the Jan 16 meeting, saying he had “requested CM Sindh to include the devolution of organisations like [Sindh Building Control Authority] SBCA and [Sindh Solid Waste Management Board] SSWMB to divisional levels as committed by him months ago”.

Zaidi alleged the chief minister told him “I am not answerable to you” thrice at which he [Zaidi] walked out since “there was no further need for me to waste my time sitting in that meeting”.

Zaidi also posted a copy of the letter the Sindh chief minister had purportedly written to the premier over the altercation, complaining of the federal minister’s “unruly conduct”. He said letter of Sindh chief minister to prime minister showed nothing but arrogance and conceit.

The federal minister sharing letter of CM Sindh and the letter he wrote to the Prime Minister said, “CM Sindh then had the audacity to write to the PM… and his letter shows nothing but arrogance & conceit!”. He does not even have the etiquette & manners on how to address the office of the Prime Minister!”.

Ali Zaidi further said that a high-powered committee comprising of Federal and provincial ministers, CM, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority and heads of various law enforcement agencies held multiple meetings just to discuss how to clean garbage from storm drains and remove encroachments. These issues were created because of a corrupt provincial government that has looted for decades, he said. “Lots of speculation/stories floating around on the Karachi Transformation Committee meeting of Jan 16, 2010”, he said.

Muran Ali Shah said Zaidi acted in a “hostile and belligerent manner” and that such conduct had been displayed by him in the past as well, which “was unbecoming of a citizen let alone a federal minister”. Shah said through his letter he was registering his protest with the prime minister and expecting “some action”, adding that in the future he expected “maturity (to some extent), inter alia, will be seen as merit for appointments at such high positions”.

In his letter to the prime minister, Zaidi said the accusations against him showed “clear mala fide intent”, adding that the chief minister was answerable to the members of the committee. Zaidi claimed the chief minister “consistently dodges the discussion of devolution” and that “his accusations are merely an attempt to evade accountability on the delays he and his government are indulging in deliberately”.

“The hypocrisy and incompetence of [Murad’s] government for over a decade has nothing to show except for loot and plunder,” he wrote, adding that the Centre had “gone the extra length” to help Shah improve Karachi’s infrastructure and assist in the province’s development.

“Is it not unforgivable and shameful that as a result of [Shah’s] machinations, a high-powered committee […] has had multiple meetings simply to discuss how to perform basic civic tasks such as cleaning garbage and storm drains?”

Zaidi maintained that no progress had taken place on basic issues, alleging that CM Shah had kept the committee “simply talking” to hide the “utter incompetence or malevolence of the Sindh government”.

In his letter, the federal minister also pointed out that it was not the Centre’s responsibility to continuously undertake civic tasks while the provincial government continues to evade its responsibilities.

“If the Sindh chief minister is not sincere and cooperative in resolving the issues of Karachi, then we will make no progress, and in the end the people of the city will suffer as the metropolis is allowed to decay under civic neglect.

“At the very least, we must demand that [Shah] fulfill the commitments made to you, the federal ministers and the nation on live TV to implement the Karachi development plan,” he wrote. agencies

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