SAWAN KHASKHELI     -   A five-member committee formed by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah arrived in Thar on Saturday to offer condolences to the grieving families and assess the situation after the devastation caused by heavy rains, which lashed the district for two days.

The committee consists of Syed Sardar Ali Shah (minister for culture and tourism), Makhdoom Mehboob Zaman (minister for revenue and relief), Abdul Bari Pitafi (minister for livestock), Faraz Dero (minister for rehabilitation) and MPA Qasim Siraj Soomro.

Speaking to The Nation, Syed Sardar Ali Shah said that everybody was shocked to learn about the deaths and devastation caused by rains and lightning.

He said they had arrived in the region to provide maximum relief to affected people without any discrimination after the due process of survey. He said that they were also looking into the matter of extraction of granite stone from Karoonjhar and the subsequent protests by people of the Parkar region.

Shah said the Sindh government had already announced forming the committee to review the matter and protect the site with proper demarcation in order to protect and preserve the rich heritage, wildlife, forest and culture of the Parkar region.

Qasim Siraj Soomro told local journalists that the committee members had arrived in the desert district on the directions of the chief minister to meet the affected people and asses conditions in the area after heavy winter rains wreaked havoc here.

“We all are concerned and deeply grieved over the deaths of Tharis due to lightning,” he said. He said the Sindh government would not leave Tharis alone in these difficult times. He said they would stay in Thar for the next few days to assess the situation and make a comprehensive report. He said the report would be submitted to Murad Ali Shah and top leadership of the province for relief and rehabilitation. He said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had taken notice of the deaths and devastation caused by the torrential rains and lightning and ordered relief and rehabilitation operations in the district.