LAHORE: In a bid to downplay the ongoing flour crisis, the provincial government on Wednesday came up with a queer move of sending a truckload outside the residence of PML-N Punjab spokesperson Azma Bukhari who had earlier criticised it over non-availability of the staple food item in the market.
Ms Bukhari had criticised the Punjab government for its failure to provide flour to the masses during a news channel talkshow and went on to saying her cook had been looking for a flour bag for the past three days.
“Instead of responding to meet the flour crisis, the Punjab government stooped too low and decided to create a “tamasha” (scene) by sending a truckload in front of my house,” she told the media persons. “This is a classic example of immature politics taught by Imran Khan to his cronies,” she added.
She said the Punjab government was trying to provoke the opposition, but it would continue exposing the government’s inability and poor performance in terms of serving the masses. “The PTI government will not be able to stop me from exposing its inabilities,” she said.
Ms Bukhari was reacting to the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) move of parking a flour truck in front of her residence and placing around a dozen bags on the ramp of its main gate.
Punjab chief minister’s former spokesperson Dr Shahbaz Gill tweeted around midday, “A PML-N MPA was saying flour bags are not available and PTI MPA Umer Tanvir Butt delivered the required flour.”
The PML-N spokesperson alleged some federal and provincial ministers were involved in the flour crisis “scam” and she would continue raising the issue at all fora, including the Punjab Assembly. She also alleged the Punjab’s flour had been sent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa “to be use as chicken feed”.
She asserted that the shortage was so acute that even the residents of the Model Town came to buy the flour bags placed in front of her residence. She said that she had to call the food controller to remove the truck parked in front of her residence.
“Has the PTI government been reduced to opening Langar Khanas (charity food outlets) and truck khanas (truck stands),” she taunted and added that Mr Butt, who is also PFA chairman, would not be able to hide his government’s failure by resorting to such histrionics. “The PTI government despite being in power for one-and-a-half years is still in opposition mode,” she regretted.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020