SUKKUR: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday inaugurated National Database and Registration Authority offices, gasification and 4G internet projects for different districts of Sindh.
In a tweet on Monday, he said that while announcing Sindh Package last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan had pledged to start work on the package within a month. Today the promise is being fulfilled.
Later, speaking to the media at Sukkur airport, the federal minister also commented on the alleged attack on ousted prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif in London. He said if Mr Sharif felt insecure in London, he should return home. “The government of Pakistan will keep him in a safe place with good care,” he said, adding “there is no place safer than jail in Pakistan”.
“However,” he said, “We have no information about Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif being attacked in London ... if it’s true, he should immediately return to Pakistan”.
Speaking to the media after the inauguration of the 4G internet service project at Al-Hamd House in Jacobabad, the federal minister criticised Pakistan Peoples Party for having done nothing for the people of Sindh over the last 50 years, our correspondent Waseem Shamsi adds.
“It [PPP] bagged votes from the people of Sindh in the name of motherland but in turn gave nothing to the electorate. The PPP is the first political party which bagged votes in the name of Sindh and came to power about 50 years ago. But the people of Sindh are still living a miserable life due to lack of even basic facilities,” he observed.
He revealed that three federal schemes — Shaikh Ayaz University, Gambat Medical Institute and Sukkur IBA — were to be inaugurated but all such events were cancelled due to Sindh government’s pressure.
Asad Umar said PPP leaders owned “palace” in London, “tower” in Dubai and one of them was found in possession of Swiss necklaces of diamond but they, while in power, never bothered to provide basic facilities to the people of Jacobabad, Khairpur, Kandhkot-Kashmore, Sukkur and other districts.
He alleged that irrigation water was provided to growers on payment and, therefore, poor growers were not receiving it. Influential figures were getting water in excess of their due share, he added.
Clarifying the PTI government’s position on the water-sharing issue, he said “we are for the whole country, and not for Punjab alone”.
Expressing his concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in the katcha area of Sindh, he said lawlessness was now spreading throughout the province due to which people were not coming out from their homes at night and criminals were ruling over their areas. “They are looting people at their whim by blocking roads with iron chains ... people are feeling insecure,” he said, and held the Sindh government responsible for the situation.
He said that the people of Sindh had great hopes with Imran Khan.
He said the army and Rangers might launch a joint operation to restore peace as it was also a responsibility of the federal government to protect the life and property of citizens.
He said the prime minister should convene a meeting soon on the issue of restoration of peace in Sindh.
In reply to a question, Asad Umar said work on the Sukkur-Hyderabad Motorway megaproject would be started soon at a cost of over Rs200 billion. Prime Minister Imran Khan had already announced several development schemes for Sukkur and earmarked Rs446bn for them.
The implementation of these schemes had been started, he said.
Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro, Federal Minister for Information Technology Muhammad Amin ul Haq, notables of the Soomro community and senior officials of the departments concerned were also present.
Rs344m 4G contract signed
The Universal Service Fund (USF) has awarded a Rs344m contract to Jazz for providing high-speed mobile broadband services to Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Kandhkot-Kashmore districts.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Privatisation Mohammedmian Soomro and Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin ul Haq witnessed the contract signing ceremony in Jacobabad on Monday, said a press release.
The contract was signed by USF chief executive officer Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary and his Jazz counterpart Aamir Ibrahim.
Speaking at the ceremony Syed Amin ul Haq said that necessary steps were being taken for the development of Sindh including provision of high-speed mobile broadband services to millions of residents of these districts.
He said his ministry had launched nine projects worth over Rs8.48 billion over the last two years. The completion of these projects would provide such facilities to 17.7m people in 19 districts of Sindh, he added.
Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2021