KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing &Town Planning, Religious Affairs, Forest and Wildlife Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that regardless of whether the federal government was unjustifiably defaming the Sindh government or the media was criticizing baselessly, the Sindh government would adopt all the precautionary measures which it would deem imperative to save people’s lives.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, the provincial Information Minister said that the Sindh government was doing what the whole world was doing in the light of the advice from medical experts. He said that after the April 24 meeting, where it was decided in consultation with all the stakeholders that the lockdown would be extended till May 9, it was the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, who announced that the lockdown all over the country would remain intact till May 9. He said that it was strange that now Asad Umar was constantly trying to give an impression that as if the people of Sindh were facing hardships owing to lockdown.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that not only the federal ministers and federal spokespersons but also the cannons of the media were aimed at the Sindh government and the impression was being given that people were suffering owing to lockdown only in Sindh, while the rest of the country was open. The provincial Information Minister said that attempts were being made to discredit the Sindh government on mainstream media and social media by levelling various false allegations, sometimes regarding distribution of rations and sometimes by misleading the businessmen.

He said that the focus of the Sindh government could not be diverted from such tactics and the Sindh government would do everything possible to protect the lives of its people. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that people were also aware of the fact that because the federal government found itself unable to deliver, it did not want the Sindh government to do anything either.

The provincial Information Minister said that the Sindh government was being defamed under an organized conspiracy. He said that this was the reason that even the work done by the Sindh government for the welfare of the people was being misrepresented.  The minister further said that on one hand only allegations were being levelled regarding the pandemic of coronavirus, while on the other, the federal government had extended no help to do away with the constant attacks of locusts on crops in Sindh.

The provincial Information Minister said that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had requested the federal government more than once in this regard but no assistance had been provided so far. He said that the federal government would do something productive only if it could get out of its habit of blaming others.

Speaking on the occasion, Ismail Rahu, Provincial Minister for Agriculture, said that not only the federal government had been constantly informed about locusts attacks but also help had been sought from them in this regard, but any help was still awaited. The provincial Agriculture Minister said that millions of acres of crops in Sindh were at risk due to locusts attacks and in this regard we had asked the federal government that the Sindh government was ready to pay for the fuel of the aircrafts to be used for spraying pesticides as well as for the pesticides, but he regretted that so far Sindh government had not been provided with any aircraft.

He said that a meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister in this regard, in which it was promised that the spray would be started from April 1, but so far nothing had been done.

Ismail Raho further said that if the federal government did not take this issue seriously, it could be very detrimental not only to Sindh but also to the entire country. The provincial Agriculture Minister said that so far 35% of the total area affected by locusts attack was in Sindh. “This is an emergency situation that needs immediate attention,” he said. Ismail Rahu thanked Pakistan Army and said that Pakistan Army had fully supported the

Sindh government in eradicating locusts in Sindh. The provincial agriculture minister requested the federal government to immediately provide aircraft for at least three districts.