KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Wednesday that he was a staunch supporter of harmony and love in the province and had never uttered the words certain people were “misusing” to earn political capital.

“(Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly) Khwaja Izhar has himself said in his speech in the assembly that his party did not want to divide Sindh and that someone had demanded that in 1962; in my speech I have condemned those who wanted to divide our province, I haven’t named any party for this,” said Mr Shah while speaking to reporters at an Iftar he hosted for the media.

He said he had always valued and had great respect for the people who left their homes and properties behind and came here.

However, he added: “Certain people want to make a mountain out of a molehill to earn political capital.”

Mr Shah said he had always promoted politics of brotherhood, fraternity, equality and humanity but “some people are trying to get political sympathies by advancing the arguments of hatred”.

Observes that name of caretaker CM will emerge ‘soon’

Mr Shah remarked: “These tactics no longer have space in this great city of ours.”

Those people, said Mr Shah, were again trying to ignite the fire of hatred in the city, but the situation had altogether changed and the past politics was now history.

“You [destroyed] this city and we have reconstructed it; you divided people on linguistic and sectarian grounds and we sowed the spirit of fraternity in them; you destroyed the institutions and we are rebuilding them — that was your time and this is our time and our time is of prosperity and unity because we have restored peace to this city,” he said.

He said the PPP’s time would last long because “we serve people without discrimination and the people of this city believe in us; they are with us”.

He added that the people of Karachi were well-educated and they knew who felt their pain and who would lead them to development and prosperity.

“I am sorry, my words have been taken wrongly, but I am clear that [whoever was] trying to divide Sindh now stand divided themselves — Sindh is our motherland and nobody whether he is Sindhi-speaking Sindhi or Urdu-speaking Sindhi would ever allow division of one’s motherland,” said Mr Shah.

Earlier, while visiting various parts of the city, he said: “Nobody can sell narrative of divide and hatred in Sindh.”

Caretaker chief minister

In reply to a question, whether any names about caretaker chief minister had been finalised and came into discussion between him and the opposition leader, Mr Shah said he hoped soon names would be exchanged and considered.

Asked whether he would be contesting election on a provincial seat again or was being sent to Islamabad, he said: “I don’t know, but whatever the party will ask me to do, I’ll do. If they ask me to contest on any seat or work as a worker during the election, I’ll do [it].”

Mr Shah said the PPP was “winning the coming elections because of its invaluable service to the people; and we are forming the government again in Sindh”.

Heatstroke centres

During his visit to the city, he said he wanted to witness the heatstroke centres set up by district administrations.

“I am satisfied that necessary facilities have been provided at the centres and I have also met people present there and listened to their grievances,” he said.

“Our people are strong enough and they are enjoying the fruit of the peace restored to the city.”

The chief minister visited heatstroke centres established in Karachi East and South districts.

The CM also went to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and visited the wards set up for heatstroke patients there.

Briefing him, JPMC executive director Dr Seemin Jamali said the ratio of heatstroke patients was not more than four per day. He met a heatstroke patient and other patients in wards and inquired about their health.

He was accompanied by provincial ministers Nasir Shah and Saeed Ghani, his principal secretary Sohail Rajput and the city commissioner.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2018

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