In Karachi, Shahbaz lambastes PPP for failing to deliver

Published April 15, 2018
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif talks to reporters during a visit to the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on Saturday.—PPI
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif talks to reporters during a visit to the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on Saturday.—PPI

KARACHI / DADU: In a rare clash between provincial chief executives, the chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh exchanged barbs on Saturday when Shahbaz Sharif during a visit to Karachi held the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party responsible for deteriorating conditions in Sindh while Syed Murad Ali Shah termed the former an “opportunist” who came to Sindh to show sympathy to its people when polls are only a few months away.

Visiting Karachi for the first time after becoming PML-N president in February, Mr Sharif also took a potshot at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), terming PTI chief Imran Khan a “liar”.

Shahbaz Sharif set the mood of his daylong engagements in the city as soon as he landed at the old terminal of the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport or even earlier when he attacked the PPP leadership and the party’s government in Sindh through some early morning tweets.

Murad questions timing of PML-N president’s visit

Recalling the slogan Marson marson Sindh na deson, Mr Sharif tweeted in Urdu: “The people who raised the slogan that they would die but not give Sindh to others actually meant that we would die but would not do anything for development”.

Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing the PML-N workers and interaction with the media, maintained the same tone which strengthened the impression that his visit was only an exercise as a PML-N president and not an attempt to prepare the ground for electoral arrangement with any political party.

“I suggest to you to visit only Larkana [stronghold of the PPP and hometown to its founding leader] and you would get the real picture of deteriorating conditions in this province,” he said while speaking to PML-N workers’ convention at a hotel. “It’s our government at the Centre which has come up with development projects for Karachi and other parts of Sindh,” he said. “The Green Line Bus Project is a reflection of our commitment but it’s so unfortunate that the Sindh government has not arranged buses for this multi-billion project yet. We restored normal life to Karachi and if given a chance in next polls, I promise to turn Karachi into Lahore.”

Mr Sharif then assailed PTI chief Imran Khan for “cooperating” with PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari secretly but publicly lashing out at him. He called the PPP and PTI two sides of the same coin, which had failed to deliver when it came to governance in their respective provinces.

Within a couple of hours of Mr Sharif’s criticism, the Sindh chief minister came up with a strong response. While addressing the 11th death anniversary of his father and former Sindh chief minister Syed Abdullah Shah in Sehwan, Murad Ali Shah questioned the timing of Mr Sharif’s visit to Karachi.

“After disqualification of his brother [Nawaz Sharif] he took over as president of his party and only then he realised that Sindh is an important province where a large number of voters are living. But let me tell you [Shahbaz Sharif] that your visit would bear no fruit because people of Sindh know you very well and also know that your visit and your promises are like bubbles of water,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018

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