HYDERABAD: Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Aminul Haq said on Friday that he was snubbed by Sindh chief minister whenever he approached him to seek his cooperation in execution of his ministry’s projects in the province.

Unfortunately, all chief ministers right from Qaim Ali Shah to present chief executive had been short-sighted and lacked broader vision for development of the province, said the federal minister at a ceremony for signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology (HIAST) and Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), a subsidiary of IT ministry, at a local hotel.

He told journalists after the ceremony that once he invited the chief minister to attend a programme as guest of honour in Governor House where governor was chief guest but the CM turned down the invitation and did not even bother to send any minister to the programme to represent him.

He said that Rs3.1 billion package of development initiatives was announced for Sindh, including installation of 3G and 4G optical fibre. Rs550m projects for Sanghar would be announced by IT ministry, he added.

He said that he requested the chief minister to hand over to his ministry an old building for the establishment of a software technology park but the CM did not respond to the request.

Later at a meeting, the CM asked him to submit the proposal in writing and he did so, sending a letter on the ministry’s letterhead, a copy of which was also sent to Sindh Minister Taimur Talpur but he had not received any reply till this day, he said.

He said that it was just one example of how short-sighted these people were. They did not want to serve people in general and urban Sindh in particular but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) owned entire Sindh and wanted to serve all people without discrimination.

About Senate polls, he said, MQM-PTI-GDA alliance would contest polls for the upper house and secure one general seat each given their numbers in Sindh Assembly which stood at 65.

PTI would not need support for the first general seat and it would back MQM-P candidate in women’s category and in lieu of it MQM-P would support PTI over technocrat’s seat. In all, he said, they would win five seats out of 11.

The minister reminded Pakistan Peoples Party that it was not March 2018 when the party had managed to “buy” votes and secured two Senate seats in addition to the number of seats which the party was entitled to according to its numerical strength.

He said that PPP owed an explanation on what coercive measures were employed to buy MPAs’ consciences.

Earlier, the minister inaugurated a software technology park at HIAST and said in his address at the ceremony that he wanted to set up an IT park equipped with all facilities in Hyderabad.

He tried to dispel the impression that his party did not work for rural Sindh and said that IT ministry had launched its project in Sanghar while work was under way in Jhal Magsi and former FATA besides Sindh. He said that 16 software technology parks were established across Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021

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