LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro on Friday said his party had neither left the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) nor did it intend to quit it.
Speaking at a press conference at the local press club, he said a decision to this effect would be taken if and when PDM would extend an invitation to the PPP for the next meeting of the heads of the component parties.
Commenting on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s political position, he said the party had developed fissures. He, however, avoided taking the name of Jahangir Tareen or his group of lawmakers.
Vows to get PTI Senator Saifullah Abro’s construction firm blacklisted
Mr Khuhro castigated the PTI-led government’s “ill-intentions towards the Sindh government” and held it responsible for the acute shortage of irrigation water that prevailed in the province. He also criticised the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) and its move to release water to Sindh from Tarbela Dam, terming it a “defective decision”.
Accompanied by Dr Shafqat Soomro and Shakeel Memon, Mr Khuhro said the shortage being faced by Sindh was caused by unjustified water distribution by Irsa. “And now in an attempt to save its skin, Irsa is hiding behind the pretext of wastage of water downstream Kotri,” he said.
He drew resemblance between Irsa’s fresh actions with the steps that had been taken by former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.
“Sindh’s share in water is being stolen under the nose of Irsa but the authority is sitting like a ‘silent spectator’ and doing nothing to ensure a transparent distribution,” he observed.
Turning towards the recent arrest of PTI senator Saifullah Abro’s brother Rehmatullah Abro, he noted that the latter was arrested after he scuffled with government officials over the issue of awarding of contracts. Mr Khuhro argued that issuing threats and harassing government officials could not be tolerated. “Such an attitude does not suit any government contractor,” he remarked.
The senior PPP leader said: “I reserve the right to file a defamation case against Senator Saifullah Abro, along with his brother Rehmatullah Abro, for dragging me in the matter in reaction to official action against him [Rehmatullah].
Mr Khuhro said he would write to the department concerned to get the senator’s construction company blacklisted. “Having centre’s pat on his back, he [the contractor] had not only pressured officials of the provincial works department, but also beat up the staff and tried to blackmail them,” he claimed.
Making his position clear, Mr Khuhro said he had nothing to do with the process of awarding contracts, therefore, it was unfair to malign him. “I had never objected to the awarding of 27 road-building contracts involving Rs760 million to the senator’s company in the past,” he said, adding that competing and winning contracts on merit was everyone’s right.
Mr Khuhro announced that an inspection of the contracts awarded to the senator’s firm four years ago by the Larkana Municipal Corporation would be done by chief minister’s inspection team (CMIT). He pointed out that these contracts were still incomplete. He said nobody had stopped any probe agency from investigating development works in Sindh.
In reply to a question about former federal interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s reported intention to take oath of his seat in the Punjab Assembly almost three years after he won it, Mr Khuhro said a member-elect was at liberty to take his seat anytime. He, however, quipped: “When Prime Minister Imran Khan can bring about a change, why can’t ... he (Chaudhry Nisar) also [go] for a change.”
Expressing his pleasure over PPP candidate’s victory by a huge margin in Thursday’s Matli by-election, he said the PTI would now find no candidate [against PPP] in future elections.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2021