ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday said the Sindh chief minister had created confusion over the Karachi package, adding the federal government wanted to spend the money on the city and could not give it directly to the provincial government.

Addressing a press conference, the minister also criticised the PML-N for bringing the country under the FATF radar and added that India was conspiring to include Pakistan into FATF blacklist.

Talking about the Karachi package, the minister said some projects would be completed in a year and some would take two or three years.

He said the centre could not give Karachi Transformation Plan’s funds to the Sindh government as it did not trust it.

“The provincial government had taken billions of rupees for development but it has been exposed during the recent rains, not only in urban areas but in the rural Sindh as well,” he added.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Centre, Sindh government, and the armed forces will jointly implement the Karachi development plan to ensure its timely completion, he said.

The minister said Rs611 billion will be contributed by the federal government to the Karachi package and all projects in Karachi will be completed in three years. “PPP’s strategy of misleading the people is not succeeding.”

The federal government will do whatever is possible for the welfare of the people of Karachi, the minister said. “The people of Sindh are also part of Pakistan.”

He said PML-N spokespersons politicise all issues and were misleading the people.

“If India is trying to push us into the FATF blacklist, I am sure the PML-N will not side with the Indians by opposing these FATF-related laws,” the minister said, adding: “but at the same time it is a clear and firm resolve of the prime minister that there will not be any NRO for these people.”

Responding to a question over the kidnapping of Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) official Sajid Gondal, the minister said it was the responsibility of the state to act over all such incidents irrespective of anybody’s stature.

“The Islamabad High Court too has directed the government to look into the matter,” he added.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2020