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Only Sindh govt carrying out relief work in Thar, claims Memon

Updated March 24, 2014

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Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon. – File Photo
Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon. – File Photo

KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Local Government Sharjeel Inam Memon on Monday said only the PPP government was carrying out relief and rehabilitation operation in the drought-hit Thar desert.

He regretted that not a single penny, from the sum of money announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for relief and rehabilitation in Tharparkar, was received as yet and the silence of the media over this negligence was meaningful.

Speaking to reporters after attending the Sindh Assembly session, he revealed that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah would on Tuesday expose hands behind what he called “planned conspiracy against the provincial government” regarding unrealistic magnification of drought and death of children in Tharparkar district.

“It was very sad that children had become victims in Thar but the conspiracy that was hatched against the Sindh government on the pretext of those deaths would be fully foiled,” said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader.

The Sindh government had already constituted a committee, which reviewed all related matters in this context, he added.

“The statistics in form of a report was submitted to the Prime Minister by federal and provincial health departments, which disclosed that a million children die before they reach the age of five each year.”

“According to that report, 600 children die each day in 150 districts of Pakistan but the local media had only created hype on deaths of children in Tharparkar,” lamented the minister.

He regretted that not a single penny, from the sum of money announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for relief and rehabilitation in Tharparkar, was received as yet and the silence of the media over this negligence was meaningful.

Nonetheless, the minister said Sindh government had since day one been active in taking care of the people of Tharparkar and the chief minister had been to Tharparkar for 6 times while cabinet ministers and members of National and Provincial Assemblies from PPP remained present in Tharparkar to carry out relief and rehabilitation works, which was still being continued.

“On ground relief activities and mere lip service were things of opposite nature and could not be placed under one similar category of action,” said Memon in a veiled reference to PM Sharif’s announcement of Rs1bn to the drought-affected in Tharparkar.

Commenting on a statement of the premier comparing droughts in Thar and Cholistan wherein he had stated that situation like in Tharparkar had never been anywhere, the Sindh minister said that more than 90 per cent of population in Cholistan had migrated to other areas due to worst drought in the area.

However, migration from Tharparkar could not go beyond just 20 per cent, he said adding that the media was turning a blind eye on the situation in Cholistan.


‘Delimitation verdict to be challenged in SC’


Earlier, prior to the commencement of Sindh Assembly session, the provincial minister for information, archives and local government said the Sindh government would file a review petition regarding ruling of the Supreme Court on the issue of delimitations in the province.

During the session, he said that 18th Constitutional Amendment had empowered provinces to carry out delimitations. Henceforth, the Sindh government would file a review petition in the apex court on its ruling on delimitations that were carried in the province in the recent past by the PPP government.

Memon categorically refuted reports on winding up the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi against the terrorists and criminals and said that the operation was in full swing quite successfully.

The crime rate in Karachi has declined as a result of targeted action by Police and Pakistan Rangers Sindh and many hardened criminals and terrorists awarded sentences for their crimes.


MQM joining Sindh govt; No comments


The minister said that he would neither confirm nor would contradict reports about Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) joining the treasury benches as coalition partner of the PPP in Sindh government.

“MQM had been an ally of PPP in the past and there would be no harm if they once again decide about joining the treasury benches. However, the terms and conditions about MQM’s joining Sindh government appearing in the media were sheer speculations because MQM could lay its terms and conditions after becoming part of the treasury benches.”

Sharjeel Memon also said that some prisoners were shifted to other prisons after they were declared as most dangerous and they would not be brought back to Karachi Central Jail.