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Murtaza Wahab resigns as Karachi administrator

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  • Murtaza Wahab announces resignation after SHC restricts KMC from collecting taxes through KE.
  • Wahab was appointed KMC administrator on August 6, 2021.
  • Says he would send his resignation to Chief Minister Sindh.

KARACHI: Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab Monday announced his resignation from office after a high court restricted the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) from collecting taxes through the city’s power utility.

The announcement to quit came on the heels of a Sindh High Court ruling (SHC) that temporarily barred the KMC from gathering municipal taxes through electricity bills.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab was appointed KMC administrator on August 6, 2021.

Addressing a press conference, a dismayed Wahab lamented the court decision and said: “It would have been easier for me to ask the prime minister and the chief minister for funds, but I did not, as I believe the way of the law is the only solution.”

“The Constitution and the law of the land have a solution for everything.”

He said as per the relevant law, the metropolitan corporation was authorised to impose taxes.

“When the city roads are submerged, nobody knocks on Waseem Akhtar or Naeem-ur-Rehman’s door, and the citizens question me, the government, and the KMC for answers,” Wahab added. 

He said as per the relevant law the metropolitan corporation was authorised to impose taxes.

“When the city roads are submerged, nobody knocks on Waseem Akhtar or Naeem-ur-Rehman’s door. People question me, the government, and the KMC,” Wahab added.

He claimed papers showed the recovery rate during Waseem Akhtar’s time was only 20 %. “Where was the money going then?”

Hinting at the rampant corruption during the time of the former mayor of the coastal city, Wahab said Waseem Akhtar had hired a private contractor to collect the taxes. “Once they collected Rs200 million and were given Rs40 million,” he alleged.

The administrator also claimed his hands were clean and asserted he fought the dirt in the system at the cost of his rightful comfort.

“I was out in the field during the disasters supervising the repairs, rescue, and relief work personally. I was working while wearing a mask during the COVID-19 outbreak. I always tried to serve people indiscriminately without any bias.”

Wahab said his mistake was that instead of his pocket, he loved the KMC.

“There are forces at work here that doesn’t let us do our job efficiently. It’s not easy to work in this city as everything is resisted here.”

The outgoing administrator of the country’s financial hub said he had diabetes and the work-related stress was worsening it, which was taking a toll on his health.

He said he would send his resignation to Chief Minister Sindh after this press conference. 

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The IHC upholds Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail.

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Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred from Bani Gala to Adiala Jail was granted by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday.

The former first lady Bushra Bibi’s application to be transferred from Bani Gala sub-jail to Adiala was heard today.

Details reveal that the Islamabad High Court heard a motion to restore the denied petition about the relocation of Bushra Bibi, the wife of PTI founder, from sub-jail Bani Gala to Adiala.

The application for the reinstatement of appeal was heard by Justice Miagul Hassan Aurangzeb. When state attorney Abdul Rehman entered the courtroom on behalf of the state, Usman Riaz Gill represented the former first lady.

State counsel did not object to the appeal being restored during court proceedings. At the following hearing, the court asked for assistance in determining what conditions must be met for a location to be designated as a sub-jail.

The court also mandated that Bushra Bibi’s medical examination be scheduled. The court subsequently delayed the hearing and gave instructions to fix the appeal for April 22.

Recall that the attorneys for former first lady Bushra Bibi, Barrister Salman Safdar, Usman Riaz Gill, and Khalid Yusuf Chaudhary, had filed an application to restore the dismissed appeal a day ago, but the Islamabad High Court had denied their request to pursue the case.

The petition contended that the traffic gridlock at the Sarina Chowk checkpoint was the reason for the delay in getting to the court.

The attorneys did not purposefully take their time getting to court. They warned that the petitioner would suffer irreversible loss if the petition was not resurrected.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb has voiced his displeasure at the absence of attorneys from the court.

According to Judge Aurangzeb, the former first lady would have been imprisoned if Bushra Bibi’s attorneys had prevailed in this case. The attorneys themselves were opposed to Bushra Bibi’s incarceration.

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oath-taking ceremony for the Balochistan cabinet postponed

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The Balochistan cabinet’s oath-taking ceremony, which was supposed to take place at the Governor’s House today (Thursday), has been rescheduled.
The Governor’s House spokeswoman announced that the Balochistan cabinet’s swearing-in event has been postponed. Nevertheless, there was no explanation provided for the ceremony’s postponement.

It is important to note that the 14-member Balochistan cabinet, which consists of two members from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and six ministers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was set to take the oath of office today, Thursday.

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PMD forecasts rain throughout the majority of the nation.

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During the next 24 hours (Thursday–Friday), the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has predicted rain, windstorms, thunderstorms, and a few torrential downpours or hailstorms throughout the majority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab, and Balochistan.

In several areas of Sindh, a rain-windstorm/thunderstorm is anticipated. Much of Balochistan is being hit by a powerful westerly wave trough, which is expected to spread to the top regions by April 18.

Prolonged downpours have the potential to cause flash flooding in Balochistani local streams and drains, particularly in Gwadar, Jiwani, Pasni, Ormara, Kech, Awaran, Kharan, Panjgur, Washuk, Noshki, Lasbela, Khuzdar, and Kalat.

On April 18–20, heavy rains could cause flash floods in tributaries of the Kabul River as well as in Dir, Swat, Chitral, Kohistan, Manshera, Gilgit–Baltistan, Kashmir, and other areas.

Lower Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Murree, Galiyat, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan are among the regions where landslides may occur.

At this time, standing crops, power poles, cars, solar panels, and other objects may sustain damage from wind, hail, and lightning, according to meteorologists.

Upper Sindh and Balochistan saw rain, wind, and thunderstorms in the past 24 hours. During the era, there were also significant rainfalls in South Balochistan. Wednesday’s highs of 42 degrees Celsius in Mithi kept it as the country’s hottest spot.

Officials reported that lightning-related storm-related occurrences claimed the lives of at least 65 people in Pakistan, where the rate of precipitation in April has so far been roughly twice that of previous years. Floods and house collapses were caused by heavy downpours that occurred between Friday and Monday. Lightning claimed 28 lives.

32 people, including 15 children, have killed and over 1,300 homes have been damaged in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has suffered the greatest victim count.

The meteorological experts report that there is little probability of rain, despite the fact that drizzle fell in numerous areas of Karachi.

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