One of them to take over once mayor steps down
The Sindh government has finalised the names of two bureaucrats for the Karachi administrator post: Najam Ahmed Shah and Syed Hassan Naqvi.
The selected candidate will take over after Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar steps down after completing his four years in power by August end. The administrator will stay in power until the local body elections are held in Karachi and a new mayor is sworn in.
Both the bureaucrats are Grade 21 officers and currently working as secretaries for different departments of the Sindh government.
Shah is posted as the secretary of the investment department. He has also served as the specialised healthcare and medical education secretary for Punjab from 2016 to 2018. Shah has also served as the finance secretary, and science and technology secretary for Sindh.
Naqvi, on the other hand, is currently working as Sindh’s finance secretary. He has previously served as director of the export processing zone authority, the project director of the computerization board of revenue, and worked at CM House, Governor House and CDGK too.
The Sindh government sources told SAMAA Digital that the two names are being considered and one will be selected by the Sindh chief minister.
Akhtar was sworn in on August 30, 2016 after the MQM won the local body elections in December 2015.
According to the law, the Sindh government has three months days to hold the elections from the day the mayor steps down. No preparations, however, have been made for the polls.
Four years ago, the polls were held on the directives of the Supreme Court. The administrator was running the city’s affairs as no elections were held after 2009.
Last Saturday, some leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan People’s Party, and MQM-P leadership met in Islamabad. They all agreed to work together for the betterment of Karachi and address its civic issues.
In that meeting, a coordination committee was formed comprising the members of all three political parties. The members included Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Ports and Shipping Minister Ali Zaidi, Telecommunication Minister Aminul Haq, Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah, and Sindh LG Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah.
The coordination committee will meet in Karachi at Sindh CM House today (August 22).
The committee will discuss its core issues as per the TORs finalised in the first meeting, Haq told SAMAA Digital. This includes issues relating to Karachi roads, transport, and sewerage.
The selection of Karachi administrator is not in the agenda of the meeting, he said, adding that it could be discussed though. “It is the prerogative of the Sindh government to appoint Karachi administrator.” MQM-P just wants the government to appoint a competent and skilled officer who is aware of the city’s dynamics.
He, however, clarified that his party has yet to given any name for the post.
Khurram Sher Zaman, a PTI MPA, said that the Sindh government has right to appoint Karachi administrator, but it should consult it with other stakeholders. “A decision with mutual understanding is needed”, he added.
He speculated that the provincial government may opt for Naqvi as he has been working closely with the Sindh CM.
Shah, on the other hand, has already clarified that the appointment of the Karachi administrator is an administrative issue and would be dealt with accordingly.