Karachi: The rulers have robbed the Karachiites of a respectable public transport system, because they do now want free, easy and cheap movement of labor in this industrial hub of Pakistan to continue its economic growth stemmed, said Pasban e Pakistan general secretary and candidate for NA-246 Karachi by-polls here on Saturday. He demanded of the rulers to give Karachi back its KCR.
Usman Moazzam, a staunch supporter of revival of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), said the closure of the KCR is amongst the biggest injustices meted out to Karachi and its people and both the federal government and the provincial government of Sindh are fully involved in this conspiracy to close down the KCR, let its loop become damaged beyond repair and its lands encroached and keep the issue of KCR revival lingering on different pretexts.
He said the revival of KCR is not a rocket science, a competent team of Pakistan Railways engineers and workers could repair and run the system within a couple of months, providing the rulers sitting in Karachi and Islamabad give the green signal. He said reopening of KCR would boost the economy of not only Karachi but the whole Pakistan. It would ensure that Karachi is also opened when private public transporters go on strike or the city roads are closed due to law and order issue.
He said if the rulers cannot give Karachi a public transport system as per European standard, at least they can give the city a public transport system of ‘Lahore standard’.
Usman Moazzam said there is also a dire need of introducing bus rapid transit systems in Karachi and like the repair of KCR, the rulers are also dragging feet on giving the city its promised bus rapid systems. He said that the economy of the city could not be improved till changing its urban public transport culture and this is why the rulers who are traditionally Waderas of rural and urban Sindh are trying their best not to improve the public transport of Karachi, because they know it would radically change the socio-political values and doom their politics of force, bullying and browbeating.
He warned Pasban would mobilize the masses of Karachi on the slogan of ‘Give Karachi its KCR’ if the rulers failed to immediately start work on repair of KCR loop. He said Karachiites want the KCR at all costs and there would be no compromise on this vital issue of the city.
He said we demand a complete overhauling of the urban public transport system in Karachi. He demanded that narrow-bodied minibuses and coaches should be banned and only wide-bodied buses painted in red color be allowed to run on the city roads. He said these buses should charge bus fare on the basis of CNG consumption, and students commuting in them should be charged half bus fare.
Usman Moazzam says he is the only candidate of the NA-246 by-elections who actually live in the constituency, while all other candidates are ‘imported’. He said Pasban would continue to raise voice not only against the problems of NA-246 but also against social injustice rampant in our society and to mobilize the youth for resolving their own issues, peacefully.
Usman Moazzam, 54, a former student leader of Karachi University, said Pasban wants to end the VIP culture in Pakistan from all spheres of life, especially politics. After becoming candidate of NA-246 by-polls, he was offered by the SSP District Karachi two police guards for his security; however, he politely declined it, saying that the people of Karachi are in more pressing need of security.
About his constituency, Moazzam said this locality is mostly comprised of low and middle income families, facing immense civic issues, most pressing of them acute shortage of potable water. He said growing joblessness, street crime, corruption culture, dearth of recreational facilities and electricity load shedding have badly affected his voters and when elected he would raise these issues in Parliament.
He said his party strongly believes in non-violent, peaceful political struggle, utilizing the energy of young cadres. He said Pasban would use all available platforms including courts to raise voice against injustice.