Pakistan: Senior public servant Iftikhar Ali Shallwani named new Karachi administrator

Karachi: After considerably delay, the Sindh government has finally named its choice for the key position of Karachi’s administrator, which will look after the provincial capital till a new mayor is elected.

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Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, a senior government servant of grade-21, will assume charge as Karachi’s administrator and will replace mayor Waseem Akhtar whose term ended on August 30, 2020.

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Before being picked for the post, Shallwani was heading the provincial Local Government Department, and earlier also served as Karachi Commissioner.

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The next mayor will be chosen after new local government elections in the province that, by law, should take place in the next 120 days. The timely conduct of the local government polls in Sindh seems unlikely as the Election Commission of Pakistan wants to conduct fresh delimitation exercise on the basis of results of the last census in the country in 2017. The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party has opposed new delimitations for the local government polls as the results of the census drive in the country are yet to be finalised by the government.

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Shallwani becomes the city’s administrator at a time when the federal and Sindh governments have combined their strength and jointly announced a massive Rs 1,100 billion package for development of Karachi, especially after the widespread devastation caused by heavy monsoon rains last month.

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A joint committee has been formed by the federal and provincial governments to oversee implementation of the development package. The new city administrator will have a key role in overseeing this.

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The Sindh government consulted different stakeholders before finalising its choice for the city’s administrator. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail earlier stated that the appointment of the new city administrator was under consideration by the joint committee of federal and Sindh government’s representatives.

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while addressing a press conference recently, said that criticism by the Opposition that the office of Karachi’s mayor lacked authority was baseless. He said everybody would now see that the incoming administrator would work for the uplift of Karachi.

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Who is Iftikhar Ali Shallwani?

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Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, an officer of the Pakistan Administrative Service (BS-21), served as Additional Chief Secretary of Sindh Government’s Local Government Department and Karachi Commissioner.

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He studied at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro where he got his MBBS degree in 1990. In 1993 he qualified for the Central Superior Services Examination and was selected as a DMG (District Management Group) Officer. During the service period he worked in different departments in Pakistan.

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In 2004 he left for London for his Master’s in Regional and Urban Planning Studies and completed his degree in 2005.

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From 2007 till 2013 he served as Counsellor in the Embassy of Pakistan Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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He has served as the secretary of Sindh Government’s Health Department, director-general of Sindh Board of Investment, and Law secretary in the Government of Sindh. On his promotion to BS 21 he served as Additional secretary, Ministry of industries and Production.

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Shallwani has vast experience of International Relations, Public Policies, Human Rights, Foreign Policy, and Economic Development.

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Apart from English, Shallwani is able to communicate in Japanese and Spanish.

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