BAHAWALPUR: Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif has issued directions to the officials to make special arrangements for distribution of free wheat flour for the senior citizens, aged women and those facing health issues.

He was on a visit to Bahawalpur and Multan on Sunday. In Bahawalpur, he inspected two free flour distribution centres at the Dring Stadium and Government Abbasia High School.

According to a handout, he directed the officials to provide two bags instead of one to the each deserving person to save them from the ordeal of visiting the flour distribution centres to collect free flour.

At the Dring Stadium, the members of divisional and district administrations, including Commissioner Dr Ehtesham Anwar Mahar, Regional Police Officer Rai Babar Saeed, Deputy Commissioner Zaheer Anwar Jappa and District Police Officer Syed Muhammad Abbas Shah briefed the prime minister on the distribution of free flour.

Issues directions for special arrangements for the elderly and sick

Speaking to the officers, the prime minister said that no citizen should go empty-handed from the flour distribution centre. After his inspection at the stadium, he drove to the distribution centre at the Government Abbasia High School and inspected the distribution arrangements there.

Mr Shehbaz directed the officers that the flour bags of the sick and the elderly should be delivered to their transport parked outside the centres.

He also issued instructions to the officials of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) for registration of those unregistered deserving men and women present at the free distribution centres.

At the Dring Stadium, a senior citizen, named Abdul Majid, met the prime minister and embraced him while another man, Abdul Majid, brought his issue to the notice of the PM who asked the commissioner to redress Majid’s grievance. The PM also met another citizen, Allah Bakhsh, and exchanged pleasantries with him. According to another report, a woman, Nasreen Bibi, complained to the prime minister that Cantonment Police, Bahawalpur had implicated his son in a fake theft case. At this, the PM directed RPO Rai Babar Saeed to resolve the woman’s complaint on merit and take action against responsible police officials.

The commissioner told the PM that the senior citizens and the old women were the priority of the staff deployed at the centres. He said there were 26 free flour distribution centres in Bahawalpur where distribution of 0.7m bags of free flour was in progress.

According to the eyewitnesses, the prime minister was accompanied by the local PML-N leaders, including former MPA Fouzia Ayub Qureshi. He mixed up with the people there and asked them about the arrangements for distribution of free flour. The people expressed satisfaction with the arrangements at the centres.

Mr Shehbaz also inspected the medical camp at the flour distribution centre and reviewed the stocks of emergency medicines, arrangements and facilities in case of any eventuality.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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