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LAHORE, May 9: Former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif alleges that President Asif Zardari played a negative role during dengue outbreak by advising the foreign experts to shut their operation in the province.

“President Asif Zardari is a cruel person as he had asked the leader of the foreign medical experts working against dengue in Lahore on the Punjab government’s request to move to Karachi leaving Punjab and its people on their own,” Shahbaz told a press conference here on Thursday.

He said he had earlier told the media that foreign dengue experts had been barred from working here when Punjab towns were the worst hit by dengue outbreak and scores of people were dying of the disease.

“I am now disclosing the name of the authority, which had issued the direction.”

Shahbaz said he was saying on oath that the foreign experts’ leader told him that President Zardari invited him for a meeting and advised him to move all his medical team to Karachi leaving Punjab and its inhabitants on their own.

The ex-CM quoted the expert as saying that he was shocked to hear such a cruel recommendation from the head of the state and that the team decided either to work in Lahore or return home instead of going to Karachi because the port city was not afflicted with the dengue outbreak.