Karachi: Terming the role of parliamentarians crucial for uplift of megacities, Pasban e Pakistan has sought their help to ensure due rights for the citizens of the megacities.
Pasban President Altaf Shakoor in an open letter to the parliamentarians, said as respected parliamentarians they have to play a very important and crucial role to shape the destiny of this nation and country needs no further elaboration.
He said: “Borrowing the words of Malcom Trunbull, it is your job, as members of parliament, to legislate with an eye to the long term future, to look over the horizon beyond the next election and ensure that as you can what you do today will make our beloved country a better place, a safer place, for future generations to live in.”
He said who knows better than the parliamentarians that the urban development is key to a rapid progress and prosperity of every nation? “And you may have also personally observed that the megacities of Pakistan, especially Karachi, are badly deprived in terms of the needed attention, resources, powers and funds.”
He said the cities with a population of 10million or more are considered as megacities, and all over the world these megacities are given preferential attention and special funds, as they generate the lion’s share for the national economies.
Though, is an open secret that the megacities in whole world are considered revenue engines for national economies, but, sadly, this is not the case in Pakistan, where the megacities like Karachi are still badly neglected, said the Pasban leader.
“This is why it is popular demand of the people of Pakistan that the constitution of Pakistan should be amended to add special provisions for a rapid uplift and better governance of the megacities.
“It is a fact that the megacities due to their mammoth population and problems cannot be run like ordinary districts and Tehsils, but they need their special budgets, efficient policing, professional administration and ample resources.’
Shakoor said the Pakistani constitution already recognizes provinces and districts, but regretfully it does not recognize the megacities, as yet.
He said Pasban e Pakistan, respecting the sentiments and aspirations of the people of Pakistan, especially the residents of Karachi and Lahore, has been raising a strong voice for the rights of the megacity dwellers for long.
Patriotic people of Pakistan also strongly demand to amend the constitution to pave way for special status, recognition and rights for the megacities. This demand for a special constitutional status for megacities is also a demand to make these revenue engines of the national economy even more efficient and even more productive in the larger interest of Pakistan and Pakistanis, he said.
The patriotic people of Pakistan, especially the residents of the megacities, envision such megacity governments for Karachi and Lahore that are not governed by the federal or provincial governments, but are directly run by their own elected administrators and police chiefs, and they also enjoying the right to collect the megacity-related taxes.
Pasban appealed the parliamentarian to study the successful models of running major megacities of the world like New York, London and Tokyo and play their due role to get replicated the applicable aspects of these models to the megacities of Karachi and Lahore, by moving and getting passed suitable amendments in the constitution of Pakistan.
“We strongly appeal and hope that you will feel the importance of the concept of megacities and apply it practically to the megacities of Pakistan, through much needed constitutional amendment process at an earliest.”
He further said that presently there are three tiers of governments recognized by the constitution: federal, provincial and local. Presently the megacities of Karachi and Lahore are being dealt under the local government, which does not cater the special needs of these mega cities. Hence, it is being proposed by the citizens and civil society that there should be two forms of local governments, local governments for union councils, town and district committees, and special megacity local governments for the megacities.
Shakoor added, that however this, is not possible without making necessary amendment in the constitution, and if it is done the demands like making Karachi a separate administrative province would, automatically, be ended.
The people of Pakistan earnestly feel that if the megacities of Pakistan are duly recognized in the constitution and get their due powers and resources, our country would further progress and prosper and become a real Asian tiger very soon, he stressed.
On behalf of the Pasban e Pakistan, as well as, the people of Pakistan, I humbly request you to play your crucial and historic role by tabling an amendment in the constitution to pave way for recognition of the megacities in it. By moving this amendment you will avail a historic opportunity to make you name and the name of your party, if you belong to any party, everlasting and ever living not only in the history of Pakistan but also in the hearts of Pakistan, Altaf Shakoor said, adding we, the Pakistanis, need your lobbying and support for this lofty national cause.