KARACHI: Amid a raging wheat crisis in the country with the government coming under strong criticism from the opposition, President Arif Alvi on Monday rubbed salt into the wounds of the general public when he said he was unaware of "any such crisis".
“It’s not in my knowledge but [I] should be aware of it,” he was shown replying to a question about the wheat shortage in a video clip widely shared and uploaded on several news sites following his surprise visit to the National Institute of Child Health (NICH). After his brief response he walked away with his staff and officials.
His thoughts on the issue came days after he released a video message informing people to contact his office where he claims to have decided more than 600 appeals filed with five different ombudsmen for immediate relief and justice.
President Alvi, who belongs to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, was at the receiving end of social media jibes all day long over his response and was criticised by senior opposition leaders with one of them unable to resist a backhanded compliment.
“He, at least, spoke the truth [that he’s not aware of any such crisis],” said Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, talking to reporters after attending a ceremony at a local hotel.
“We should praise him for his truth. He, at least, has not made any senseless argument like Firdous Ashiq Awan [Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting].
“It’s not President Alvi alone. In fact, this entire government is incompetent. It is neither close to the people nor does it know anything about the common man’s problems,” he added.
Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2020