ISLAMABAD: After completing one year as the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman, Islamabad Mayor Shaikh Ansar Aziz has nothing ‘substantial’ to show as his performance. However, on the positive side, he has not been embroiled in any mega corruption scandal. In a surprise move in early September 2016, the federal government had appointed Aziz as the CDA chairman. The authority at that time was at loggerheads with the bureaucratic regime over devolution of assets and liabilities. The top management of CDA was unwilling to handover powers to the newly-established Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). It had used workers’ union to file a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to create hurdles in way of the devolution process. Shaikh Ansar Aziz had assumed the office of CDA chairman with a perception in public at large that he would play a role to make the MCI fully functional. However, nothing has been done in this regard during the last one year. The MCI is working under an acting chief metropolitan officer. Not a single penny has been released in the name of development funds from the federal government. The elected representatives have been forced to generate funds from unauthorised sources ie imposing illegal taxes, holding unapproved bazaars and cattle markets. The mayor had announced to end the illegal control of private people from the playgrounds in Islamabad after his appointment. He had declared that the grounds would soon be open to general public. He, however, diverged from his promise and remained silent. This reportedly happened after a family member of disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif ‘stepped in’ the issue. Instead, Aziz himself handed over two more playgrounds situated in Sector F-8 and Embassy Road to one of his close friends. While dealing with irregularities in the Land Directorate, the mayor ordered to seal the record and transferred all the old staff. He announced to bring a transparent policy to compensate land affectees without any discrimination. He introduced new standard operating procedures (SOPs) in this regard. However, these SOPs are now being openly violated by officials of the Land Directorate. The mayor it seems is helpless in stopping such violations. The corrupt practices of past have once again found their way into the directorate. Talking to Daily Times, Opposition Leader in the MCI Ali Awan said. “We had the impression that the mayor would start playing an effective role in the smooth transfer of power after assuming control of the CDA. However, we were wrong.” “His lack of interest in the affairs of MCI has turned it into a dead horse. His incompetence has also ruined the CDA,” he added. Despite Shaikh Ansar Aziz’s lackluster performance during the past one year, it goes to his credit that he distanced himself from corruption and corrupt practices. He has also been trying to improve the situation in the CDA. However, critics claim that this is just an impression. Requesting anonymity, an officer of the authority said: “If somebody wants to review the conduct of mayor-led administration, then he can easily say that they are not doing anything wrong because they are doing nothing at all.” When contacted by Daily Times, the mayor remained unavailable for comments as he is abroad. Public Relations Director Malik Mazhar Hussain said: “The Islamabad mayor is doing his best to make the capital more beautiful. There a number of steps and initiatives to his credit.” Published in Daily Times, September 6th 2017.