Corruption behind Karachi’s garbage problem: Mustafa Kamal

KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday hit back at Mayor Waseem Akhtar’s decision to suspend him as the city’s ‘Project Director Garbage’ and said the reason why no one had yet picked garbage from the metropolis was the rampant corruption.

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Addressing a press conference in Karachi, former city mayor Kamal, who was relieved from his post as ‘Project Director Garbage’ earlier today mere hours after being assigned the responsibility, said he had started planning the cleanup drive before the “shock” suspension.

“I started receiving phone calls as soon as it was announced that I had been given the charge of removing garbage from the city. I received calls from NGOs and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers and leaders who assured me of their support to remove the garbage from the city,” said PSP chair.

“I said I will work nights and days and not sleep till the garbage was removed from the city. Everyone told me they were with me,” he said.

Kamal further said that he told the NGOs to wait and not start using their machinery at their disposal to clean up the city, adding, “I called municipal commissioner and financial adviser, I called them and said at 2am that I will be outside the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium and I want to know about the sweepers who get paid and how much to clean up the city.”

“But mere hours later, the mayor who assigned me the post to help clean up the metropolis removed me from my post. I knew this was about to happen because this was not about cleaning up the city, it was about corruption,” he said.

He asserted, “I accepted the mayor as my boss and was ready to work under him.”

Kamal lamented, “I cancelled my plan to visit Kashmir and I just found out two hours ago I was removed from my post. I am not blaming anyone.” “I left the city as one of the most developed cities, doing nothing illegal during my time here, never taking money, no money trail or bank account.”

“I worked religiously, made flyovers, underpasses, made a road till Mubarak village but today with sadness I have to say we are not asking for flyover, park or a hospital or a school, but we are just saying, pick the garbage because the children are falling sick.”

He further added that he was abused and ridiculed for his initiative. “I am not doing politics. I just wanted to clean up the city.”

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