The army has been called in to help with the cleanliness and accumulation of rainwater in Karachi. The prime minister said he has instructed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairman to immediately visit Karachi and help the rain-battered city.
The NDMA, which is headed by Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal, will be responsible for collecting stagnant rainwater and dump it in landfill sites, followed by the cleanliness of stormwater drains. The megacity is home to millions of people but in the face of defunct institutions and incessant political wrangling, the army has been called in as the last resort.
The army has made invaluable contributions to improve the conditions in Karachi. The city was once considered the most dangerous in the world. It was a constant security risk and a hub of terrorism while crime and target killing were at its peak. The army stepped in and conducted an operation against the miscreants and finally restored peace in the city.
Now we have asked the army to even help us with cleaning the city. Every successive government has highlighted this pressing issue faced by all citizens but no efforts are made to resolve it. The provincial government has absolved itself of all responsibility and blamed the municipality while the mayor complains lack of funds and authority as people continue to suffer.
The PPP has been ruling Sindh for twelve years, MQM has the mayor and local councilors, and PTI has at least a dozen elected lawmakers from Karachi. Yet, the streets are strewn with garbage, potholes, and in a state of complete neglect. This is a reflection of the apathy of the government and indifference towards Karachi.
The MQM claims to be the representative of Karachi and has been a part of every government. Yet it has been unable to resolve the issues and has shown its inability as well. The PTI claims it will not leave the city alone but the efforts have not been seen on the ground. The people entrusted the PTI to solve their civic problems, infrastructure development and cleanliness issues.
The nation respects the army which has helped during all disasters from earthquakes and floods and will help in cleaning up Karachi. This is a welcome step but all institutions should be made functional to solve these problems on a regular basis.