SUKKUR: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah on Monday lambasted the federal government for punishing Sindh through excessive power loadshedding on the false grounds that electricity theft was rampant in this province.

Speaking to the media during his visit to Mubarakpur, he said that power theft on a big scale in Sindh was not possible as this province was getting extremely low supplies. “Sindh is the worst-hit as compared to the other three provinces in terms of loadshedding,” he said, elaborating that it was suffering longest spells of loadshedding being carried out three to four times a day. In spite of this much outages, people of Sindh were being accused of power theft, he wondered.

Mr Shah expressed his resentment over such remarks repeatedly made by Federal Minister of Water and Power Khwaja Asif and the Minister of State Abid Sher Ali, and warned that if the people of Sindh stood up against such an unfounded charge and provocation, this would cause a great trouble to the federal government.

The opposition leader said that as a matter of fact, Punjab surpassed all other provinces in electricity theft whereas Sindh was being provided a minimum of supplies.

Khurshid Shah, during his visit to Mubarkpur, reviewed the flow position of Bambli and Mubarak minors (water channels) and also proceeded to Marri village near Ali Wahan town on the outskirts of Sukkur where he inaugurated the new building of the Govt High School.

He responded to a flurry of questions on various issues and developments asked by local reporters.

In reply to a question, the senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader said that the joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court was under tremendous pressure from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government as it was grilling the prime minister over his fortunes.

He observed that Mian Sahib [Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif] appeared not ready to compromise on his Yari [friendship] with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and was doing his best to oblige him. That’s why, the federal government could not make sincere efforts towards ensuring peace in the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, he claimed. Indian forces’ atrocities on Kashmiri civilians were increasing with each passing day, he said.

Regarding a question about the next general elections, Mr Shah said every party was focusing on Punjab and whichever would succeed in getting a maximum from that province would be able to form its government at the Centre.

In reply to another question, the opposition leader said that 142 doctors hailing from Sukkur district had applied for government job and once they were recruited, each of them would be given posting in their respective area of residence.

SSC, HSSC exams

Khurshid Shah also hinted that from the next year, the SSC and HSSC examinations [in Sukkur] would be held at one place instead of designated exam halls of various educational institutions. “Around 5,000-6,000 students will be accommodated at such an exclusive exam hall where close circuit TV cameras will be used to check unfair means,” he said.

Commenting on the Pakistan cricket team’s impressive win in the Champions Trophy tournament, Mr Shah said: “They [the team] have won 200 million Pakistanis’ hearts ... as many billions [of rupees] cannot buy us such an extreme happiness.”

The victory had certainly given a big boost to the image of Pakistan in the world, he added.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2017