Centre willing to work with Sindh govt despite differences: Asad Umar

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Asad Umar on Wednesday said there shouldn’t be any politics on matters relating to the improvement of citizens’ lives, adding that the Centre is willing to work with the Sindh government for the betterment of the province’s people.

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Addressing a press conference in Karachi alongside Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi, Umar said every political party had the right to politicking but “this should not be done on issues impacting the lives of citizens”.

“No doubt we have extreme differences with the Sindh government,” he said, adding that “the Centre will not let these differences come into play when working with the Sindh government to improve citizens’ lives”.

“From our side, this is the approach and [we] hope that the Sindh government will also adopt the same approach so that projects for the improvements of citizens’ lives can be worked on as soon as possible.”

Umar said two months ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to appoint him as the focal person for the implementation of the Centre’s projects in Sindh. He said the consensus after today’s meeting was that progress [on the projects] had improved but difficulties that needed to be overcome persisted.

In response to a question regarding whether today’s meeting was held to appease the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) after PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had offered them a partnership in the Sindh government in exchange for quitting the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition government, Umar said today’s meeting had been decided prior to Bilawal’s announcement.

“I don’t want to say much about that, he has a right to do politics. Given the difficulty that PPP is in today and the way in which their roots with the people have been weakened, they will make some efforts,” he said.

Inaugurating four development projects in Karachi on Monday, Bilawal had offered MQM an “equal number of ministries in Sindh” if they helped in toppling the PTI-led government in the Centre.

The MQM-P did not outright reject the move but described it as a “non-serious attempt”.

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