KARACHI: Former chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who has been nominated by his party for the same office again, has said that the new Pakistan Peoples Party government will pay special attention to infrastructure development, poverty alleviation and improvement of health and education sectors in the province.
He said this while talking to media after laying a wreath and offering fateha at the Quaid’s mausoleum on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day on Tuesday.
He was also accompanied by PPP’s Sindh chapter president Nisar Khuhro, Waqar Mehdi, MPAs Sohail Siyal, Saeed Ghani, Imdad Pitafi and Qasim Siraj Soomro.
PTI delegation refused entry to Quaid’s mausoleum
He said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had laid a great responsibility on his shoulders by nominating him as the Sindh chief minister.
“I am thankful to him and other party leadership for their trust,” he said, pledging: “Under the guidance of the party chairman I will serve people of Sindh to the best of my abilities.”
Recalling two development plans to improve road infrastructure along with storm-water drains in Karachi during his previous tenure as CM, he said: “Today Karachi gives a different look and I will continue my focus on the uplift of Karachi.”
He added that every district and every city of the province would be given equal attention to develop them and resolve public problems.
Mr Shah said that his government restored peace in Karachi and made it the “city of lights again. Now we are going to make it one of the beautiful cities of the world,” he said.
In reply to a question, he said that the people of Sindh had reposed their confidence in the PPP because it served them.
“It is the PPP which has always fought for the right of the people of Sindh and always given them employment opportunities. We have improved the health sector and worked a lot on the Thar coal project which is set to produce electricity,” he said.
He said that unemployment was a serious problem and this time his government would create more employment opportunities in the government and private sectors.
To another question, he said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had announced the Rs25 billion Karachi Package, but till the end of their tenure they did not even release Rs25.
While the former Sindh CM along with his associates visited the Quaid’s mazar and offered fateha, a delegation of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was stopped at the mausoleum’s gate and not allowed to enter.
Imran Ismail, who has been named as the new governor of Sindh, was leading the PTI delegation comprising Haleem Adil Shaikh, Firdous Shamim Naqvi and others.
The delegation waited at the gate for quite some time. Later, the PTI leaders offered fateha and went back.
PTI spokesman MPA Jamal Siddiqui told Dawn that the door of the VIP gate of the mausoleum was locked when the party delegation arrived there.
He said that the mazar administration was not duly informed in advance about the presence of Imran Ismail in the PTI delegation. They, however, tried to convince security guards there to open the gate, but they expressed their helplessness, saying the gate was locked and could be opened only by an official of the management of the mazar.
Caretaker Sindh CM Fazal-ur-Rahman has said that father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had a dream to make Pakistan a welfare state and we all are working hard in that direction.
Talking to media at the Mazar-i-Quaid on Tuesday, he said it was the Quaid’s struggle and leadership that “today we are an independent nation”, he said, adding: “We have to work hard to make Pakistan a true welfare state.”
Earlier, the caretaker CM along with acting Governor Agha Siraj Durrani performed the flag-hoisting ceremony at the Quaid’s mausoleum and received Independence Day felicitation from diplomats of different countries and members of civil society who attended the day’s event at the mazar.
During the flag-hoisting ceremony, the national anthem was played and all guests and schoolchildren sung it.
The chief minister met the children and lauded their spirit.
The CM and the acting governor also planted a tree each in the garden of the Mazar-i-Quaid.
Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2018