THATTA: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has complained that the federal government has not taken the provincial government into confidence over the Sukkur-Multan highway and other projects being executed under the China-Pakistan Eco­nomic Corri­dor (CPEC).

He had recently written a letter to federal ministers Ishaq Dar and Ahsan Iqbal, asking them to keep the Sindh government on board over the execution of main CPEC projects but the Centre usually avoided bringing the province in the loop, said the chief minister.

He was speaking to journalists at Jilani House in Makli on Thursday afternoon where he had arrived to offer his condolences on the death of spiritual leader of Jamaat Qadri Jilani, Pir Ghulam Jilani.

The chief minister said the huge funds being spent on CPEC projects were taken from the exchequer of the province. His government would, therefore, raise its voice at all available forums and keep protesting if the federal government refused to change its attitude, he said.

He said the Sindh government had given priority to the execution of CPEC projects and launched three gigantic wind mill projects in Thatta and Jamshoro districts and power generation projects at Thar coal block II. Consultants had also started work on Keti Bandar port project, he said.

Mr Shah said the federal government had continued to show step-motherly attitude towards Sindh over the sensitive issues of just distribution of irrigation water and funds divisible under the National Finance Commission Award. The step-motherly attitude was evident from frequent and prolonged power loadshedding and failure to release water to Sindh for Kharif season, he said.

He dismissed the federal government’s claim about production of excess electricity as baseless and said it either wanted to befool the masses or deliberately create problems for Sindh.

He said the federal government had released Rs68 billion less than the amount it had announced for Sindh’s development schemes while the province had not yet received even the Rs108bn the federal government had to pay Sindh till the end of the current month.

It was not the federal government’s money but of the public of Sindh and he would, therefore, get this amount at all costs, he said.

The chief minister said the recent Sindh budget was completely tax-free and he had already proved rivals’ claims false who had been clamouring all along that the provincial government would impose new taxes.

Praising services of late Pir Ghulam Jilani in the field of literature and spirituality, he said late Jilani was a religious scholar and an intellectual par excellence as well as writer of more than 40 books on literature, religion and poetry.

Earlier, a large number of people including disciples of late Jilani, former and current parliamentarians as well as socio-political activists from across the province attended funeral rites at Jilani House.

The chief minister was accompanied by provincial ministers Nasir Shah, Imdad Pitafi, Fayaz Bhurt and former MNA Dr Wahid Soomro, Imtiaz Qureshi, Mohammad Ali Malkani, Sadiq Memon and other PPP leaders.

Published in Dawn, June 9th, 2017