The Sindh cabinet on Thursday approved to carve a new district in Keamari area by bifurcating Karachiâ€™s District West, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shahâ€™s spokesperson.
The new district will comprise Site, Baldia, Harbour and Maripur sub-divisions, the spokesperson said.
He said population-wise cityâ€™s west district is the largest one in Sindh. It has a population of 3,914,757.
Currently, Karachi Division comprises six districts namely, South, East, West, Malir, Korangi and Central. In 2013, the PPP government created the Korangi District to make the port city â€œmanageableâ€.
During the meeting today, CM Murad suggested to name the south district as â€˜District Karachiâ€™ and added that other districts be named after the famous areas of the city.
He said that a few ministers have suggested dividing Khairpur into two districts as well.
The CM spokesperson said that the provincial cabinet also approved the Trust Act. The cabinet also discussed the measures against money laundering in the law.
MQM-P, PTI oppose move
MQM-P leader Faisal Sabzwari said that his party will challenge the decision of a new district in the court.
â€œLahore, Multan and other big cities are based on one district,â€ he said, adding that the PPP is trying to bring its â€œfake mandateâ€ in Karachi.
He accused the ruling PPP of continuing the enmity towards the metropolis.
Meanwhile, PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman said that his party has also rejected the Sindhâ€™s governmentâ€™s move.
â€œNew avenues of making money are being introduced,â€ he claimed, adding that they â€œdoubt the intentionsâ€ of the PPP.
PSP to move court
Pakistan Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal said the PPP was not winning hearts and breaking Karachi into parts.
“We reject the creation of a new district,” said former Karachi administrator.
“This is an attempt to break Sindh and we will not allow this to happen.”
Kamal said the Sindh govt is creating on the basis of language. “The PSP will challenge the move in court.”
Later in the day, in Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath”, Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani said that the establishment of the Keamari district was solely an administrative matter as he tried to brush aside claims of the move being politically motivated.
“It was under consideration for a long time; addressing administrative issues caused a delay,” he said, adding that the announcement of the new district has been made before the next local body elections.
“There used to be three districts in Karachi, and now there are seven,” Ghani noted. He said that establishing new districts helps people.
The minister clarified that the matter of setting up new districts did not concern local governments and that it was under the jurisdiction of the revenue department.
Ghani, responding to a question, said that consulting the local government was not necessary for the establishment of a new province.
The setting up of a new district is not the job of local administration, he said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, speaking in the same programme, said that if districts were made on an administrative basis, then they would have been developed.
Akhtar said that district Malir had been set up but had seen no progress. “District Keamari is being established for political gains.”
“They have turned Karachi into ruins by dividing it into six districts,” he said, adding that the local government had not been consulted before the decision was taken.
The mayor demanded that Karachi be given the status of a metropolitan district. “Police and other departments should be under the mayor […] Sindh government has kept all the departments to itself.”
The mayor warned that he would move the court against the move.
New district on ethnic lines
A report published in The News on Sunday had stated that the PPP was mulling to create a new district in along the ethnic lines.
Quoting an unnamed senior official of the Sindh government, the TNS reported: “Sindh government now plans to make a new district, Keamari, by gathering Sindhi, Pashtun and Baloch areas comprising islands, Maripur, Keamari and some other areas.”