SHC suspends Sindh govt move to hand over iconic Karachi park to Bahria TownPakistan
The Sindh High Court on Monday suspended a provincial government notification to hand over Karachi’s iconic park, Bagh Ibn-e-Qasim, to real estate giant Bahria Town for 10 years.
A special bench of the SHC was hearing a petition filed by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader and Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar.
Akhtar's petition followed a notification issued by the Sindh local government ministry which stated that the decision to hand over the park "for adoption" had been taken after its approval by a competent authority, but made it clear that salary of its staff would be paid by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC).
For this ‘handover’, the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government had first taken over the control of the park from the city’s municipal administration, which is dominated mainly by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
Provincial authorities claimed the move would save funds and encourage private organisations to carry out social work and public service.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah defended the provincial government saying, “Bin Qasim Park was handed over to Bahria Town for rehabilitation and improvement.”
He said the decision was made after the Sindh Assembly passed resolution to handover to other local bodies’ institutions in Karachi and thus many parks were handed over to the Karachi Municipal Corporation [KMC].
The chief minister asked the opposition parties to avoid doing "negative politics of agitation and stop misguiding and misleading the people in larger interests of the welfare of the masses."