Friday, July 31, 2009


The Councilor of Canadian High Commission’s Commercial & Economic Affairs Marilyn MacLean Denton along with Canadian Trade Commissioner Ather Moeen Khan called on City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal at his office and discussed matters of mutual interest besides the development in Karachi.

Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal on this apprised the Canadian Councilor about the development works that have been performed by city government during last four years in Karachi.

He said that besides an important international city, Karachi is also the gateway for Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan. Considering this we had initiated a comprehensive infrastructure uplift process in this city during which lot of mega projects were completed in very short time.

City Nazim said that in order to provide best and unique facilities to citizens in Karachi, we have used latest and most modern technology in every sector. The complaints and information management system 1339 has given great convenience to citizens to register their daily complaints through an effective way. He said that the city government has also introduced a central command and control system in the city which will be implemented gradually.
Nazim Karachi also informed the delegation about the development works performed by city government in various sectors including water and sewerage, road infrastructure, health, education and recreation.

He said that the development works have been done by city government in each and every area of the city and comparing past the citizens have much better facilities in their daily life today.
The Canadian Councilor during the meeting praised the performance of City Government Karachi and congratulated Nazim Karachi on the completion of mega projects in least time.

‘2 power generation units to arrive before December’

Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Parvez Ashraf has said that two ship-mounted power generation units of 235 megawatts (MW) of a Turkish company would arrive here before December 2009 and are linked to the city’s power supply system.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting of Cabinet Ministers Committee on Energy crisis, which discussed Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) issue exclusively, the minister told journalists that tariff of the company has been approved by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA).

He pointed out that at present the generation cost comes to Rs 8.37 per unit while electricity is being supplied to people at Rs 5.37 and thus the government is subsidising the energy to the tune of Rs 140 billion per year or Rs 12 billion per month. “We want to first overcome this shortfall as the government does not want to put pressure on the people.” He said that under the plan, the government is going for thermal, rather than for Jhelum and Bhasha Hydel and to coal and solar energy. He pointed out that the present government has inherited the energy shortfall of 3000MW to 3500MW.

He said that of this shortfall, 1,500MW would be procured from held up or slow-going IPPs and for another 1500MW, the owners of various companies have assured that they are bringing their projects on time.

Replying a question that power meters installed or fast, Ashraf said that he would get these meters tested from PEPCO experts and if found defective, these would be replaced.

Regarding rental power units, he said these would arrive before December 2009. He said these rental units have been obtained on 3 to 5 years contract through international bidding.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lust of influential man destroys woman’s life

By Amar Guriro

This city sees many tragedies every day and one of them is the case of S, 24, a housewife, who paid the price of crossing paths with an influential man.

They were a happy couple, S and her husband Z. They had met 10 years ago and had fallen in love. They got married and S bore three children for Z.

Z runs a small grocery store in Badin Chaali near American Quarters in Hyderabad.

This happy family had the unfortunate fate of being the tenants to an influential landlord, Sahibzada Swati. The story that unfolds from here is better suited to horror movies or novels. Swati, like the many other powerful men of our country, who feel like they are invincible and above the law, thought that he could use his influence to persuade S into bed. S, being the respectable wife and mother, refused only to learn the hard way the extent of a man’s lust. After Swati made a move on S the first time, Z knew that the most he could do to protect his wife was to move out of the house; they shifted to a new house.

On July 12, Swati visited S at the new house when Z was at the shop, complaining that upon their departure they had not cleaned the old house properly and insisted that S come clean it. Swati took S to the old house and once there, he tied her up and proceeded to rape her. As if that was not enough, to punish the woman’s denial to his wishes, he inserted acid into her genitals.

The poor woman’s ordeal did not end there, as she was brought to the Burns Ward, Civil Hospital, Karachi, three days after the incident took place. She is undergoing a third surgery in 16 days and even though the doctors say that she is recovering otherwise but her reproductive system is worsening by the day.

Dr Asim Durrani, of the Burns Ward said she is suffering from acid burns and there are complications in her reproduction system. “It will take her one month to completely recover,” he said.

S is conscious through the terror that she is going through and she can do little but burst into tears when the fateful day replays in her head. Lying on a Burns Ward bed, she cries in pain and says, “He is an animal and I would have rather died than face the pain that he inflicted on me.”

As with most the cases involving the bigwigs, at first the Tando Yusuf police refused to register a case against the culprit. They later did register an FIR no 62/2009 but it seems as if it was just to pacify the couple and to mitigate the bad publicity that the media would throw their way when it got wind of the incident.

Z admitted sadly that the culprit is still at large and still has the audacity to contact Z to threaten him and tell him to take the case back or face dire consequences.

“I just want justice for me and that will not happen till Swati is not behind bars,” added a distraught S.

“The police must arrest the culprit and take the case to an anti-terrorism court, as these cases fall in the same category as terrorism and are even more harmful because the targets of these cases are helpless women,” said Madadgaar Helpline human rights lawyer Zia Ahmed Awan. The Madadgaar Helpline has arranged to shift S and her family after her husband received death threats in case of failure to withdraw the case.

Awan added that S is going through both physical and mental trauma, while her family is also suffering with her. “Police must arrest the culprit, so that the family can live in peace,” he said.

On contact, District Police Officer (investigation) Ghulam Nabi Keerio said that the police are trying to arrest the culprit and will arrest him very soon. “A few days ago he was reportedly in Karachi but now we have no clue about his whereabouts but we have formulated a plan and he will be arrested soon,” he said. (DT Report)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CNG buses pilot project gets going

The CNG buses pilot project, worth Rs 250 million, was launched on Monday.Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan and City Nazim Mustafa Kamal inaugurated the project in Sarjani Town.

There would be 50 CNG buses covering two routes initially. Two different manufacturers, each providing 25 buses, have made these CNG buses locally. The CDGK has already paid the full cost for the buses.

The purpose of putting CNG buses on the roads is to ensure that the citizens were provided with an urbanised transport system and in this regard, the CDGK has already started operating an e-ticketing facility, as these buses will not have conductors. The passengers will be able to buy travelling coupons from e-ticket booths established at different locations on the prescribed routes.

Talking to the media on the inauguration ceremony, the governor said that Kamal has proved that he is a true leader who has served the citizens with great fervour and spirit. Today, he has achieved one more of his goals by providing citizens with CNG buses.

In his address, Kamal appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to help stop bureaucracy, at the federal and provincial levels, from creating impediments in the city’s development projects.

It is pertinent to mention that the federal government had announced a countrywide plan for putting CNG buses on the roads, with a total cost of Rs 2.5 billion for 8,000 buses (5,000 large CNG busses and 3,000 small CNG buses), out of which 800 were set aside for Karachi but initially only 500 were supposed to run in the city. However, the project could not start, following which the city nazim drew a plan for running CNG buses in Karachi under a self-reliance programme.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Niamatullah wants SHC CJ to take notice of rain losses

Former city nazim Niamatullah Khan advocate has asked the Sindh High Court (SHC) chief justice to take suo motu action against the officials whose negligence caused colossal losses in Karachi during the recent monsoon rains.

Addressing a press conference at Idara-e-Noor-e-Haq on Sunday, he said that the entire city was submerged in rainwater and 61 citizens lost their lives due to insufficient measures taken by negligent officials. The city bore losses amounting to Rs 30 billion and trader lost around Rs 11 billion, he said. On the occasion, former town nazims Abdul Wahab, Farooq Naimatullah, Ahmed Parekh, Nadeemul Islam, Islamullah and trader leaders Mehmood Hamid and Imran Baghpati were also present.

Khan said that the reason behind this massive destruction is the fact that the city government did not clean the drains prior to the rains. He alleged that the funds allocated for a rain emergency were gulped down by corrupted elements. He said that also contributing to the destruction was the lack of planning behind the constructed roads.

He alleged that the roads constructed by the present city government are substandard and were ruined due to rainwater while the roads constructed during his tenure were stronger and survived the rains. All underpasses constructed by the present city nazim were flooded during the rains, Khan said.

The former city nazim went on to say that the present city nazim issued show cause notices to Municipal Works EDO and some other officials but the problem will not be solved by making other officials scapegoats. He asked the city government to compensate each rain-related death with Rs 1 million, Rs 0.2 million to each injured and also asked them to compensate for the colossal losses suffered by traders.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Petitioner wants KESC sale pact made public

The Sindh High Court (SHC) was prayed to direct the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to make public the sale agreement between Hassan Associates and Al Jomiah Holding and UAE-based new owners Al Abraaj. Filing an application for urgent hearing, Syed Muhammad Iqbal Kazmi, the petitioner maintained that this sale agreement was very crucial to the petition, and presently, the court and the petitioner were unaware of its details.

He maintained that the people of Karachi were suffering due to the changing of ownership of the KESC. The petitioner stated that Al Jomiah obtained a loan facility of $275 million from the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank, while Rs 12.50 billion were secured from a syndicate of local banks. Despite such huge borrowing, the government was forced by the KESC to pay a subsidy of Rs 1 billion per month and 12 million a year, the petitioner maintained

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Six killed as building collapsed in city

A four-story under construction building in Liaquatabad area of Karachi collapsed here yesterday, leaving six dead and many others trapped in the debris, it is learnt here.
As per details, a four storied building caved near Firdous shopping center in Liaquatabad No.6 within the limits of Liaqatabad police station.
Police and civic agencies have initiated rescue activities with the help of citizens. It is feared that more than 20 people are trapped under the debris.
Eyewitnesses said the building was under construction and it collapsed when laborers were busy in construction work at around 8:30 pm. They said there might be 11 people trapped under the rubble.
Soon after the incident the police and rescue services rushed to scene and cordoned off the whole area. Panic and fear gripped the entire locality when building caved in with a big bang, raising a cloud of dust, eyewitnesses said.
Shopkeepers and traders of this busy commercial area said that the building collapsed because the contractor was using substandard material.
The rescuers pulled out eight people from the rubble after struggle, while search for more was continued till filing this report.
According to Edhi sources, 20 to 25 people are feared trapped under the debris of the building.
The owner of the building has been arrested.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad has taken strict notice of the incident and directed the official concerns for probe into the incident and for launching immediate relief activities. (NC Report)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Home dept approves KBCA Police Station

Home Department, Government of Sindh through a notification has approved the establishment of a police station for Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA). The police station has been named as Karachi Building Control Authority Police Station under Establishment of City Government Police Station and Criminal Procedure Code 1898. It will work under the supervision of Local Government Department, Government of Sindh.
The police station will be authorized to file cases pertaining to violation of Karachi Building Control Ordinance 1979 and impose penalties against the accused.This step of Sindh government will be a useful source against illegal encroachments and promote beauty and development in Karachi, a handout said yesterday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pleasures of launching a book

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

I am feeling mighty relieved after the launch of my book Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours at the Karachi Gymkhana Banquet Hall on July 17.
I am delighted to have delivered as there were only 96 hours at my disposal when the Federal Sports Minister, Pir Syed Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani, had consented to be the chief guest in the ceremony.

He had an unusually busy schedule for the weekend and it was not possible for him to come over on July 18 as suggested by me. Since I had to rush to Islamabad on July 19 for a few days, I was eager to have the book launched before my visit to the federal capital.

The Minister was willing to grace the occasion on July 17, if I agreed. I looked towards Ehsan Qureshi who was with me when this discussion was taking place and we thought it was worth making extra effort to launch the book a day earlier than scheduled.

From 5 pm on July 13 to 5 pm on July 17 were probably the busiest 96 hours of my life. That was definitely at the back of my mind when I declared in my speech that the evening of July 17 was the memorable one in my career yet.

The writing and publishing a book in Pakistan in particular are considered an arduous task. The launching of a book is not a straightforward proposition either. It’s probably tougher that’s why not all the books that somehow manage to see the light of the day in this part of the world are launched.

I consider myself fortunate to have been blessed with a few loyal and trustworthy friends who are also there for me. My mother’s prayers keep me inspired as do the smiles of my two little daughters, Javeria and Beenish, who always urge me to do justice with my talents.

These motivating factors prompted me to accept the challenge of organizing the book launch at a notice of just four days. Trust me I would have never mustered this courage to host a full-fledged function had Ehsan Qureshi not been around there with me all along. He inspired me to mobilize all our resources with a cool head and not to press the panic button.

Well the seating capacity in the Banquet Hall of Karachi Gymkhana was for 120 guests, besides the space for 12 dignitaries on the stage. Wasn’t it a wonderful sight with just a few chairs in the entire hall being unoccupied. It was nearly cent percent attendance. With drizzle having caused traffic jam on many roads and the threat of more rains it was really great to have watched guests assembled in time.

The chief guest, Pir Aftab Jilani, also reached at the designated time, as did Dr Mirza Abrar Baig, who was presiding over the ceremony. All the other distinguished speakers, Ehsan Qureshi, Prof Ejaz Ahmed Farooqui, Azeem Sarwar, Younis Rizwani, Aziz Memon, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and Shoaib Mohammad also arrived in time and Sardar Khan called the meeting to order at half past six.

I don’t know if I deserved all those praises or now but trust me it was music to my ears. So many stalwarts of their respective fields showering me with praise publicly in the presence of the media was something I might never imagined when I had started writing for cricket magazines as a teenager some 29 years ago.

The speeches lasted around 75 minutes and it was thrilling to be the focus of attention sitting comfortably on stage. Sardar Khan and Ehsan Qureshi took upon themselves the responsibility of handling the stage management to take pressure off my head

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CMC CIRCLE WIDENED IN CITY Terrorist to be dealt with iron hands: Malik

The federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik yesterday said the jurisdiction of Crisis Management Cell has been widened in Karachi for peace in the city; the Cell will have cooperation of IB and other agencies. Addressing the journalists accompanied with Governor Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah at CM House, he said CMC will have link with governor and CM.
Rehman Malik said the intelligence network has been increased six-fold; the number of Rangers is also being augmented in city.
He said he met Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain twice who assured him of complete cooperation. Malik said he wants judicial investigations of the target-killings in Karachi, urging the people to make mobile video of such target-killings and send them to interior ministry. He said there is no operation underway in Karachi, only security arrangements are being made.
He said that the Government has taken strict notice of target killings in and concrete measures have been taken in this regard during the last 3 days.
Interior Minister declared that the government will have zero tolerance against target killings with the help of political parties while relevant agencies have been given a role and these would be totally halted.
He said that President has taken strict cognizance of this and that is why he is here on his instructions and he (Minister) is working on this matter for the last 3 days and had been in contact with the intelligence agencies.
Strict action will be taken against black sheep destabilizing the country; he announced adding that no sabotage conspiracy would be allowed to succeed. He said that remnants of anti-Pakistan elements that started destabilization from Malakand too will be eliminated.
“No one would be allowed to indulge in any anti-Pakistan act either from here or from anywhere else and we will deal with all those with an iron hand who would dare to challenge the writ of the government”.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

KBCA starts operation against illegal farm houses

The Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) has started action against various commercial farm houses on agricultural and poultry land in Gadap Town, on the directive of Chief Controller of Buildings, Manzoor Kadir.
In this regard a KBCA demolition team razed illegal RCC bungalow-type rest house portion with the help of heavy machinery constructed in Sita Gadyano Farm House and Super Millennium Farm House.
The demolition operation was carried out under the supervision of TBO Gadap Town, Aqeel Ahmed Abidi, Controller of Demolition Capt (Rtd) Shahid Waseem, Deputy Controller Gadap Town, Waqar Ahmed and Assistant Controller Mazhar Shah.
A heavy police posse headed by TPO Gadap Rao Anwar, SHO Gulshan-e-Maymar Police Station Amanullah Marwat and SHO Gadap Sajjad Hyder was present to control any law and order situation.
A KBCA spokesman said yesterday that demolition action will continue against more illegal farm houses with the cooperation of area police.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mustafa Kamal inspects on-going development works

City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal paid a detailed visit to various ongoing development projects yesterday during which he inspected the pace and quality of work and issued necessary directives to concerned officials.
EDO Works & Services Rasheed Mughal and other officers accompanied him during the visit.
During the visit of Corridor-III Nazim Karachi directed EDO Works to further expedite work on the construction of flyover at Shamama Shopping Mall. He also instructed to devise such a strategy that could ensure smooth flow of traffic around the site of the flyover while the work continues on24 hour basis.
On his visit to under construction road from Tool Plaza at Superhighway to Jinnah Terminal Shahrah-e-Faisal, the City Nazim was informed that already 60 percent of work on this project had been completed and the remaining work was underway rapidly.
Nazim Karachi directed concerned officials that the construction of green belt and installation of curb stones should also be done with the completion of road.
At Orangi Town Nazim Karachi directed EDO Works to accelerate pace of work on Shahrah-e-Qaddafi and also complete the construction of storm water drain without delay.
During his visit to Banaras Chowk Flyover Nazim Karachi directed concerned officials that the piling work for the bridge should complete in next four days after which the laying of girders and other works be done rapidly so that this project could be opened for traffic as soon as possible.
While inspecting the work of 6000 Road in New Karachi, City Nazim directed Additional EDO Revenue Matanat Ali Khan and Town Nazim Akhtar Hussain to take immediate steps for removal of all encroachments in the area so that the remaining work of this road could complete without further delay. Nazim Karachi was informed that the construction of bridge was already completed here.
The City Nazim also inspected the work on the under construction bridges at 10000 Road in Khuda Ki Basti. He was informed that the bridges would be completed very soon.
Nazim Karachi instructed EDO Works and Services to pay special attention to those tracks which have already been completed and ensure marking for zebra crossing and installation of cat eyes besides the coloring of footpaths wherever required.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Governor pays tribute to Kamal’s good governance

Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan has said that record development took place in Karachi during the last four years due to devolution of power to grass root level under the existing local bodies system.
“The importance of Karachi was internationally acknowledged with the construction of modern infrastructure, roads, under-passes and flyovers and it is a fact that no one owned Karachi in the past but Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal adopted this vision and set a high example of good governance, glorious administration and best delivery for which I pay him all the tributes”.
He expressed these views while speaking at a welcome ceremony organised by Journalists Forum, to felicitate City Nazim Mustafa Kamal and the City Thinkers Award ceremony held at Arts Council of Pakistan.
On the occasion Governor presented a gold medal on Forum’s behalf to Nazim Mustafa Kamal in recognition to his unparalleled performance.
Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad said Nazim Karachi worked hard with dedication and honesty and its positive effects reached the people directly and they got due facilities of life.
He said that Nazim’s vision received outstanding acknowledgement not only in Karachi but also in and out of Pakistan. He said one cannot find a parallel to development works that were carried out here during the last 4 years.
The Governor observed that Karachi kept expanding without a Master Plan but Nazim Mustafa Kamal gave the city an international identity besides preparing its first Master Plan and today the city has become the most appropriate for investment.
Addressing the ceremony Nazim Mustafa Kamal pointed out that service without discrimination is the philosophy of Quaid-e-Tehreek Altaf Hussain and we highlighted this very philosophy and showed the mettle.

PPP-MQM talks in final phase for post-LG setup

* PPP wants to allow MQM to continue having administrative control over Karachi

KARACHI: Both the major ruling partners in Sindh, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), have entered the decisive phase of talks to develop a consensus regarding the arrangement in the post- local governments’ dissolution scenario, especially in Karachi and Hyderabad.

The government had announced the dissolution of local bodies at the end of their tenure in August this year, and appointment of administrators in place of the incumbent nazims. The ruling PPP had started deliberations with its major coalition partner, the MQM, about developing a consensus over about the future administration of the Karachi and Hyderabad, because the MQM-backed nazims have administrative control over both the local governments.

On Friday, the provincial local government minister, Agha Siraj Durrani, who is a heavy weight in the provincial cabinet, called on the Sindh Governor, Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, at the Governor’s House to further discuss the issue. It was a follow-up meeting to the one held there between Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and the governor on Thursday night.

The governor left for Dubai soon after his meeting with the local government minister, while MQM leader Babar Ghauri also left for the same destination. According to official sources, the MQM leadership would hold a final meeting with Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Dubai over the issue today (Saturday).

It is pertinent to mention here that Malik had already held a meeting with MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London before Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s formal announcement about future of the local bodies.

According to sources close to the PPP, the party leaders want to accommodate the MQM by allowing it to continue having administrative control over the Karachi, and it is likely that a nominee of the MQM would be appointed as the administrator in place the city nazim. The sources said that the PPP, however, was not in favour to allow the MQM to continue its control over Hyderabad, and wants its own man as the administrator there.

The PPP government has also deferred a meeting of the district coordination officers (DCOs) that was scheduled for today at the office of the Sindh Chief Secretary Fazlur Rehman. According to the DCO, no new date has been given for the meeting. Official sources said that the meeting was aimed at issuing formal directives to the DCOs over taking over administrative control of district governments at the time of their dissolution.

The sources said the government has postponed the DCOs meeting because of the final meeting of the PPP and the MQM leaderships in Dubai, as it has to wait for its outcome. The sources have said a new date would be fixed for DCOs meeting now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

100 Political workers killed in Karachi, HRCP Report

According to six monthly statistics pertaining to Karachi city only maintained by Sindh Chapter of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, there was an increase of 21.34% (83% in cases of women and 162% in children) in the killings and accidental deaths of citizens of Karachi during the last six months of 2009 (deaths in road accidents not included).

During the first six months of 2008, a total of 773 deaths were recorded including that of 65 women and 32 children, while during the six months of 2009, it was 938 including that of 119 women and 84 children.

100 political activists were killed this year while last year it was 74. Out of which 38 the largest number of political workers of MQM (H) workers were killed. MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) 28 workers killed, PPP 11, ANP 10, STPP 4, TTP 2, PML (N) 2, JI 2, PML (F) 1, JSQM (1), PPI (1)

98 persons were killed due to personal enmity while last year it was 76, 70 persons killed during robbery while last year it was 85, 51 persons kidnapped and killed while last year it was 96, 51 persons lost lives in target killing while last year it was 62, 3 persons died due to drinking of toxic wine (2009), 49 dead bodies were found while last year it was 57, 45persons killed in police encounter while last year it was 38, 29 laborers died at work while last year it was 26, 25policemen were killed while last year it was 26, 17 persons were killed on railway track while last year it was 16, 13 persons were killed due to stray bullets while last year it was 15, 09 persons were killed due to overdose of drugs while last year it was 4, 18 persons were killed in Lyari gang war while last year it was 39, 06 persons were killed by police torture while last year it was 04, 09 persons died in jail while last year it was 04, 04Security guards were killed while last year it was 10. 03 person was killed in bomb blast while last year it was 14. 08 people died due to negligence of different departments of government. 01 person was killed by relatives due to love marriage in the first half of the year. While 3 people were killed last year during this period. 49 people were killed in ethnic riots.

42 women were killed by unknown persons while last year it was 28. 84 children died in different incidents while last year it was 32. Among the 84, 02 children were killed by train. 02 children were killed in ethnic riots. 02 children were killed during Lyari gang war. 01 child was killed due to resistance against robbery.

More than100 political activists were killed and where as, most killings took place in the month of June. In the vicinity of North Karachi the biggest incident occurred due to fire erupted in which 20 children, 12 women and 10 men succumbed to death. The cause of inferno still not known.

KBCA takes notice of illegal constructions

Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) took stern notice of illegal construction of farmhouses on agriculture & poultry lands in Gadap town. It also took serious notice on beginning construction on a sealed off plot in Hawks-bay area yesterday.
According to details, the KBCA has taken stern notice and legal action against the farmhouses built on lands allotted for agriculture & poultry purposes. The lease period of many such plots on which farmhouses have been built is either expired or is near expiry. Such lands are also being used for different businesses, which is against the land utilization rules.
KBCA has informed public to contact relevant departments and verify before any kind of transaction in lands allotted for agriculture & poultry purposes; otherwise they, themselves, would be responsible for their loss.
KBCA took serious notice of illegal construction by the owner on a sealed plot No.24 and 25 of Phase-I, 28-K on Hawks-bay Road. An application has been submitted to the relevant police station to lodge an FIR against the plot owner.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Governor, City Nazim to inaugurate parking plaza today

Governor of Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan along with City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal will inaugurate Pakistan’s first ever vehicle parking plaza in Saddar today.
The seven storey parking plaza which is first ever facility in Karachi for parking of vehicles would have the capacity of containing 700 vehicles and 500 motor bikes at one time. Besides the building would also have modern shopping center and offices.
The Parking Plaza has also been equipped with fire fighting system and heavy elevators with backed up by generators to carry vehicles to upper floors of the building.
The City Government has also prepared a traffic management plan for Saddar area while a shuttle bus service would be run by the contractors to facilitate the motorists in Saddar area and users of parking plaza.
City Government has also started work on the construction of second parking plaza near Empress Market Saddar.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Karachi fourth in world cheapest cities

A global survey naming Tokyo and Osaka as the world’s most expensive cities for expatriates, largely due to the strength of the yen against the U.S. dollar.
The survey rated Karachi as the fourth amongst the most cheapest cities of world, as it stands on 140th position in the list of most priciest 143 cities.
The 2009 Cost of Living survey, by consultancy firm Mercer, covered 143 cities across the world, measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items, including housing, transport, food, clothing, entertainment and household goods.
Tokyo, last year’s second most expensive city, climbed to the top spot, knocking Moscow down to number 3. Geneva and Hong Kong ranked 4th and 5th, with Asian and European cities dominating the top 10 slots.
The survey, conducted in March, uses New York as the base city for the index, with currency moves measured against the dollar. New York itself jumped to 8th from 22nd last year.
“As a direct impact of the economic downturn over the last year, we have observed significant fluctuations in most of the world’s currencies, which have had a profound impact on this year’s rankings,” Nathalie Constantin-Metral, a senior researcher at Mercer, said in a statement on the firm’s website.
“Now that cost containment and reduction is at the top of most company agendas, keeping track of the change in factors that dictate expatriate cost of living is essential,” she added.
Tel Aviv ranked as the most expensive city in the Middle East, while Caracas was top in South America, and Sydney was the priciest city for expatriates in the Pacific.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Police assault crowd protesting killing of brothers in Karachi

*Demonstrators attack police station after officials refuse to register case
* TV crew baton charged along with protesters

LAHORE: Police used batons and fired tear gas shells to disperse violent demonstrators who had attacked a police station in Karachi, a private TV channel reported on Monday, after a case was not registered against the killing of two brothers during a robbery.

According to the channel, a large number of people had come out onto the streets to protest against police for not registering a case. The protesters initially burned tyres and hurled stones at parked vehicles, and then attacked Landhi No 4 police station. The protesters also fired at the station – prompting police to baton charge the crowd, including the channel’s crew. Police also fired tear gas shells to disburse the protesters. The Karachi CCPO told the channel he would take stern action against those responsible for assaulting the channel’s coverage staff. He said that action would also be taken against police officials if they had refused to register a case.

Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza said he had already directed the CCPO to investigate the matter and bring those responsible to book. He said he had also ordered the suspension of policemen who baton charged the journalists.

The brothers were gunned down when they resisted a robbery attempt at their shop in a market opposite the Landhi police station.

Three armed motorcyclists arrived at the market at around 5:30pm. Initially, two of the men entered the brothers’ shop and ordered the shopkeepers to pack some veils. As the veils were being packed, the men took out their guns and told everybody in the shop to hand over their cell phones and cash.

The owner of the shop – Arshad, 36 – tried to resist, but the robbers shot him and his younger brother, Sajid, 31, before escaping. The brothers were rushed to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where both of them died.

“We have found two empty shells of 9mm pistols,” SHO Azam Baloch told Daily Times.

“Both victims lived in the upper storey of the building that houses the shop. The brothers were trying to protect their salesman,” said the officer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

No green signal yet for satellite survey of Katchi Abadis

The Sindh government has failed to provide any green signal to the federal government for the long awaited satellite survey of more than 1,000 Katchi Abadis in Sindh, with more than half located in Karachi. The project, scheduled to be executed after a gap of more than 14 years, has been put off due to some political hitches.

According to senior government officials, the survey is badly needed in Karachi, while Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal has said that the delay has hampered developmental work in the city. Moreover, he added that power theft is the highest in Katchi Abadis, as most of them have Kundas (illegal connections) for power supply.

Sindh Chief Secretary Fazul Rehman is yet to provide any information to the Federal Local Government (LG) secretary, who would deliver the plan once the Sindh government allows the survey.

Last month, the Federal LG secretary asked the Sindh chief secretary whether the government intended to carry out the satellite survey of Katchi Abadis in Karachi. The federal secretary had earlier said that once this survey was carried out, no other Katchi Abadis would be notified or regularised.

Former EDP of the Master Plan, 2020, Iftikhar Hussain Qaimkhani said that in 1985, there were more than 586 Katchi Abadis in Karachi alone, and added that they are increasing day by day, and this number is now approximately above 1,000. He further said that the south-bound Lyari Expressway can never be completed without the removal of Kacthi abadess adjacent to its planned boundary.

Plans are under way to hold a satellite survey of Katchi Abadis all over Pakistan, including Sindh, in order to facilitate the existing ones and also ensure that no such settlements are set up anymore.

The survey would be carried out by SUPARCO and the Geographical Survey of Pakistan in the name of the “Survey and Development Plan of Kacthi Abadis”, and this is being done under the Prime Minister’s 100 days action plan.

Federal LG Secretary Saleem Khan Jhagra told The News that there are at least 700 Katchi Abadis in Sindh, with more than half of them in Karachi. He added that the last such survey was carried out in 1985, and there is an urgent need for another such survey, especially as Katchi Abadis are on the increase. Moreover, its growth could only be stopped through a satellite survey, as a human survey is not possible at the moment, he maintained.

Jhagra further said that in most of the Katchi Abadis, railway land has been encroached, and for this reason, Pakistan Railway has agreed to cooperate with the Centre for this survey. He also said that the government would also seek help from former Katchi Abadis Director General Tasneem Siddiqi, and his expertise and prior experience could be useful. He also informed that the Punjab government has updated Katchi Abadis till 2006, while the two other provinces have very few such settlements, whereas only three such Abadis have been regularised in Islamabad.

It may be noted that there are a number of claimants of a single plot, and this is causing a great hurdle in carrying out the survey. Former Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo had regularised certain Katchi Abadis, and also announced that no further Katchi Abadi would be accepted.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Chief Justice approached for taking note of PCB iregularities

By Syed Khalid Mahmood

The Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, has been approached for taking suo motto action against the former officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) having been found guilty of massive financial irregularities by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Razaullah Khan, the longest serving council member of the PCB, who has been known and feared for calling a spade a spade, has once more taken the initiative of bringing to book the people having been engaged in malpractices of the highest order.

“Yes I have submitted a request to the Chief Justice for taking a suo motto action against Dr Nasim Ashraf, Shafqat Naghmi and others who have been found involved in the embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rupees seven billion,” Razaullah Khan remarked in an interview recently.

“Alongwith my application to the Chief Justice I have submitted a copy of the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan that details the corrupt practices of the PCB officials. I have also brought the matter to the notice of Chaudhary Nisar Ali, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, by sending him a copy of the same report,” he added.

Razaullah Khan, who has been associated with the game of cricket in various capacities for nearly half a century now, did not mince words in stating that he has had to approach the Chief Justice after having failed to get any response from the government agencies.

“I have communicated to the Chief Justice that I have approached him after having knocked at the various doors without any response. The people in the government have their own reasons of not initiating action against the former PCB officials even though the report of the Auditor General of Pakistan has found them guilty,” Razaullah Khan said.

“The Auditor General of Pakistan has compiled the report after they had been assigned the task by the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the Patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board,” the former PCB Council member revealed.

“Now when the report has come out and it has been very clearly pointed out that the former officials of the PCB were guilty of financial embezzlement there is no reason why they should not taken to task. I have appealed to the Chief Justice to take suo motto action and register a case against them,” Razaullah Khan stated.
“Exemplary punishment must be given to the PCB officials for having misused the public money and having derived huge personal benefits besides having obliged their near and dear ones,” he pleaded.

“It was a common belief that Dr Nasim Ashraf and Shafqat Naghmi were running the affairs of the PCB at their whims. The recent report by the Auditor General of Pakistan has only confirmed that they have deprived the nation of billions of rupees,” Razaullah Khan believed.

He didn’t expect the present officials of the PCB to move against their predecessors because in his opinion there still were quite a few employees in the Board having sympathy with their former masters.