KARACHI: While criticising the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, three important members of the Sindh cabinet said on Sunday that some people protested outside the Sindh Assembly as a political ploy, which was beyond comprehension.

Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Labour and Education Minister Saeed Ghani and Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said this while speaking at a press conference here.

Mr Shah said that if they (MQM-P) had so much pain for the people of Karachi in their hearts, then they should tell people what they asked for Karachi from the federal government, of which they were also one of the allies.

He said that if the MQM-P had to protest, it should have done so against the federal government and not against the provincial government.

He said that the MQM should ask the federal government that what happened with its Rs162 billion package that it had announced for Karachi.

Nasir Shah reminds MQM-P of the federal govt’s Rs162bn package for Karachi

Mr Shah said that the politics of the MQM-P was limited to Karachi and Hyderabad only.

He said that media representatives should ask them what they demanded from the federal government for Karachi.

He said that the sit-in of the MQM-P should be in front of the National Assembly and not in front of the provincial assembly of Sindh.

Centre criticised for raising POL prices

Censuring the federal government, the information minister said that the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products was another proof of the incompetence of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.

He said that it came as a shock to the people of the country.

He said that in a few days it would be known to everyone that who had benefited from such a huge increase in the prices of petroleum products.

Mr Shah said that cheap petrol was not available to the people. He said the PTI government had failed in every field by deceiving the people in the name of ‘change’.

He said neither the federal government itself imported oil nor did it allow the oil marketing companies to import the commodity.

“When anyone asks them about their performance, they start making allegations,” he said, adding that the sufferings of the people were increasing owing to the incomprehensible policies of the PTI government.

He said that before Imran Khan became prime minister, he used to say that an increase in the prices of petroleum products made everything more expensive, but today he himself had become the cause of this inflation.

‘Sindh budget not ideal but better’

Referring to the Sindh budget for financial year 2020-21, Mr Shah said that although it was not an ideal budget, still on the instructions of Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah prepared and presented as better budget as he could.

Minister Shah, who also holds the portfolio of local government, said that there was no doubt that the health sector was given a priority in the recent provincial budget. However, considering the serious problems faced by farmers, small landowners and people running small businesses a considerable amount had been set aside in this budget, he added.

“Critics may not be aware of this, but the Sindh government has also allocated a large portion of the budget to Karachi,” he said.

The senior provincial minister said that the Sindh government was working on various projects regarding water and it was the promise of the provincial government that improvements would be made in this regard soon.

Talking about the recent decision of the Supreme Court regarding the purchase of luxury vehicles, Mr Shah said that the Sindh government had already decided that this year, due to the situation arising after the spread of the coronavirus, no new car would be purchased.

He clarified that if there was a great need, vehicles would be procured for security personnel working in the field or as and when required for the eradication of locusts.

Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Saeed Ghani said that no government other than the Sindh government, be it the federal government or the provincial governments, had increased the salaries of labourers and government employees in the budget.

He said that no statement was made by the MQM-P when the prices of petroleum products were raised unprecedentedly by an “incompetent selected government of PTI”.

Mr Ghani said that the purpose of the MQM’s sit-in was to get media publicity.

He added that projects worth billions of rupees had been signed to improve Karachi’s infrastructure as well as water and sewerage system.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2020