- Asad Umar says PML-N’s “only contribution” to the project was the start of the track’s construction; “no work took place after that”.
- PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal symbolically inaugurates project today; claims injury to hand in “state-sponsored violence”.
- Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch the much-awaited Green Line Bus Rapid Transit service tomorrow.
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar on Thursday rejected all claims made by PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal regarding his party’s contribution to the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit service, saying that the “only contribution” was the start of the track’s construction.
“No work took place after that,” Umar remarked, following a visit to the project’s Operation Centre.
“Perhaps their plan was for commuters to run from Surjani to Numaish,” the minister said.
He added that all matters including operations, tickets and purchase of buses were completed by the incumbent government.
Iqbal had earlier in the day, symbolically inaugurated the project and credited former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for completing the project.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail said that the PPP has “not even provided a single bus” to the people of Karachi in the last 13 years.
Rangers personnel stop Ahsan Iqbal
Iqbal, along with other party leaders and workers, gathered in Nazimabad to inaugurate the project.
However, Rangers personnel stopped the party members from going towards the pedestrian bridge. Chaos ensued and a scuffle broke out between the crowd and the law enforcement personnel.
Later, while speaking to the media, Iqbal said PML-N workers had been subjected to “state-sponsored violence” and claimed that his hand was injured after being struck by a stick.
Iqbal said that the Green Line project was initiated by the PML-N government in 2016 and its foundation stone was laid by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He added that 90% of work on the project was completed by May 2018 and the rest was supposed to be completed by December 2018, however, the incumbent government “prolonged the project” for more than three years.
“This government keeps taking credit for the plans initiated by PML-N,” Iqbal said, adding that when they reached today for the inauguration of the project, the government displayed the “worst form of state-sponsored terrorism.”
“During our tenure, we never used the Rangers personnel for political purposes. I hope the army leadership will take notice of this incident,” he added.
‘Unwarranted violence unacceptable’
PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif strongly condemned the violence against Iqbal and party workers and demanded an investigation into the matter, a statement by the party on its official Twitter account said.
The statement said that “on the orders of Imran Niazi” Iqbal and other party workers were subjected to “unwarranted violence”.
“A baton charge on peaceful workers, torture and maltreatment is condemnable and highly regrettable,” the statement said.
The party demanded a probe and punishment to individuals responsible.
“Unwarranted violence against political and democratic workers is unacceptable,” said the statement.
PM Imran Khan to inaugurate Green Line project tomorrow
Last week, taking to his Twitter handle Asad Umar gave Karachiites the good news that the premier will launch the much-awaited project on December 10.
He wrote: “The PM @ImranKhanPTI will Inshallah inaugurate Karachi’s first modern transport system, greenline BRT, on the 10th of December.”