HYDERABAD: Rights activists speaking at a dialogue organised by the Pakistan Rawadari Tehreek, Sindh, here on Friday called for imposition of emergency across Sindh and formation of a high-powered judicial commission to fix responsibility of massive devastation by rains and floods in the province and alleged incompetence of federal and Sindh governments in handling the post-flood situation.

They also called for revival of old natural waterways in the province and immediate disbursement of Rs500,000 compensation for every person died in disaster-related incident.

Noted analyst Jami Chandio, Samson Salamat, Punhal Sario and others participated in the dialogue.

Later, speaking at a press conference at the local press club, Jami Chandio said that 35m people were affected due to the downpour and floods in the country and over 10m were rendered homeless.

“It’s not a natural calamity, but criminal negligence on the part of federal and provincial governments,” he alleged, and argued that climate change-driven weather patterns had been predicted in 2010 and it was warned that Pakistan would be affected.

He lamented that neither federal nor Sindh government took any measures in this regard. He noted that lands in 90pc cases were destroyed and a huge number of cattle had perished.

He said that federal and Sindh governments did not come up with any plan so far to take care and rehabilitate the affected people. He called for declaring health emergency in Sindh without any delay.

Pakistan Rawadari Tehreek chairperson Samson Salamat said that people must not be left at the mercy of incompetent government agencies. He said Sindh government’s criminal negligence was too evident, and agreed with Jami Chandio that no planning had been seen so far.

“Calamity-hit people are not beggars … they had been earning their livelihood before the disaster … but due to government’s negligence, they are now living under open sky and crying for food, healthcare and financial assistance from government,” he noted.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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