MQM-P and PPP – the coalition partners in the federal government -Wednesday locked their horns over the heavy rainfall that has wreaked havoc in the Karachi metropolis. The first spell of the monsoon rains brought majority of roads in the mega city under water killing at least 29 people. People lambasted the PPP-led government. As a result, MQM-P, the PPP’s partner in the Centre, joined them in condemning the provincial government. Addressing a press conference in Karachi along with ministers and PPP leaders, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah rejected the criticism, saying that the provincial government “managed the situation in the best way it could”. “If a short spell of torrential rain occurs, then problems arise. If intermittent rains take place throughout the month, then water will not accumulate on the streets. When heavy rainfall occurs in a short period of time, it causes issues,” he said. The chief minister said that this year, the district west of the city recorded 232 millimeters of rain, while within three hours, the city registered a record 127mm millimeters of rain. Shah said during the rains in Karachi, political parties resorted to the “blame game” and he claimed that the Sindh government officials were in Karachi during the time – not elsewhere. “People blaming the officials for not being in Karachi should name the officials who were not present here,” CM Sindh said while slamming the opposition parties, says a news report. Taking a swipe at the PTI, the chief minister said that 14 members of the National Assembly (MNAs) from the party were only confined to “TV screens”. The chief minister further stated: “I am saying this with full surety: On July 10, water was not accumulated anywhere in the city.” At Nagan Chowrangi, the water was cleared within two hours. In 2007, 228 people died when 140mm of rainfall occurred, while in 2009, 50 people passed away in rain-related incidents when 200mm of rainfall took place. “It saddens me when this matter is linked with ethnicity. Yes, I went to my village but I returned at night,” CM Shah said. In response to their coalition partner in the Centre, the MQM-P rejected PPP’s claims of serving the city during the rains and said the statements issued by the provincial government did not align with the on-the-ground situation. “The role that the chief minister claims to have played is not based on reality,” MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan said in a press conference at the party’s office in Bahadurabad. Hassan, defending the MQM-P, said it had struck an agreement with PPP for the betterment of Karachi, but it caused “pain” to some people. He was referring to the lengthy agreement that the parties reached when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) sought the MQM-P’s support to remove then-prime minister Imran Khan from power in March. Hassan then said that he was “awe-struck” to see the situation in posh areas like the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), where the water levels were extremely high. The MQM-P leader stressed that once the city’s administrative structure is revamped, things will gradually improve as currently, the country was acting like a “banana republic”. He said that the chief minister can and should give examples of London, but at the same time, he must grant the same powers to the mayor of the cities in his province. “The people of Karachi are still at a loss as to who will pick up their trash. In rains, the situation of DHA was even worse than New Karachi,” Hassan said. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Authority has issued an advisory to the federal and provincial departments to stay alert amid fresh weather forecast of vigorous monsoon and torrential rains, reports APP. In a press release, the Authority said as per fresh forecast by Pakistan Meteorological Department, monsoon currents were penetrating upper and central parts of the country. It said a new strong monsoon low pressure area system was approaching Sindh on Wednesday, which would cause more heavy rains till Sunday. The NDMA advised the authorities concerned to ensure timely evacuation of population from low-lying and flood prone areas as per evacuation plans and ensure availability of shelter, food and medicines in relief camps. Widespread rain-thunderstorms with few heavy/very heavy falls are likely to occur in different districts of Sindh province during next 48 hours. According to met office, rains with few heavy/very heavy falls are likely to occur in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, Tharparker, TM Khan, Tando Allayer, Sanghar, Nawabshah, Noshahro Feroze, Khairpur, Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Dadu, Jamshoro, Shikarpur, Ghotki & Kashmore districts. Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended “every possible support” to the Sindh government to deal with the worsening situation in Karachi. “Just spoke to CM Syed Murad Ali Shah.. Deeply saddened by the tragic losses due to torrential rains in Karachi. I am confident that the Sindh government will rise to the occasion and bring life back to normal under the able leadership of CM Sindh. [I] Have offered to extend every possible support,” he tweeted. He later also asked authorities to closely monitor measures taken in Sindh, Balochistan and south Punjab to cope with the impending threat of another spell of torrential rains. Meanwhile, the opposition in Sindh unanimously held the PPP government responsible for the misery witnessed during the week-long monsoon spell, with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, threatening to sever all ties with the PPP and PML-N in the Centre. In the latest rebuke, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh lashed out at the Sindh government over what he described as its failure to clean Karachi’s nullahs.