KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that old Karachi, which was known for its peace and prosperity, has been revived by organizing a successful mega event of PSL and now the Old Pakistan has to be restored in which nobody could dare talk about oppressing people “just to listen to their screams.”

Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah was addressing a press conference here at the Committee Room of Old Assembly Building. He was flanked by Minister Local Government Saeed Ghani and Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab.

The CM said that in Old Pakistan the government ministers used to talk about people and their problems but surprisingly in “New Pakistan” all these ethics have vanished away and now they [federal ministers] are using unethical language, saying “they would listen screams of people because they know how to suppress the masses.”

Sindh facing a shortfall of Rs120b in federal transfers

“Yes! Under your rule [fed govt] people are screaming against unprecedented price hike, people are crying against unemployment and people are screaming against NAB,” Murad said and added the provincial government was facing a shortfall of Rs120 billion in federal transfers [funds] and “yes! People of Sindh are screaming because work on their development schemes a have to come to standstill for want of funds. “Therefore people of this country need Old Pakistan,” he said.

He said that in New Pakistan, Speaker of Sindh Assembly was arrested from Islamabad and then his family was made hostage for eight hours in Karachi. “When you had no evidence against the speaker why did you arrest him,” he asked. Actually, the anti-corruption was a provincial subject but the federal government has grabbed these powers under the garb of NAB. “It was unfortunate that the PPP and PML-N governments in the centre failed to undo the NAB law during their tenure,” he said. 

The chief minister said that the PSL was the biggest event in the history of this city in which eight matches of international level, including the Final one were played here because Karachi was now a peaceful city. “The peace has not returned here with mere lips services but it has been restored after a lot of sacrifices rendered by the personnel of law enforcement agencies and people of Karachi who faced terrorism and terrorism-like situation for around 25 years and sacrificed their dear and near ones.

He congratulated the people of Karachi for hosting such a mega event in the city and appreciated the divisional and district administration, the KMC, the DMCs, the police, the Rangers and other agencies for working day and night to make the event successful.

He also told the newsmen that the tragic incident of New Zealand where 50 Muslims were killed in two mosques was quite painful. Out of 50 causalities, nine belonged to Pakistan, of them three were Karachiites. “Today, I went to their homes and offered condolence with their families,” he said and added he was satisfied that their aggrieved family members spirit was high.

 Murad reiterated the stance of his party leadership, particularly of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who emphasized on the need of implementing National Action Plan in true letter and spirit. “He (chairman PPP) is absolutely right in his narrative that amongst us we have to identify and ward off people who are in hand and in gloves with the terrorist,” he said. He added that in terrorism we have lost 70,000 innocent lives and Pakistan was the biggest victim of terrorism, therefore NAP must be implemented. The chief minister said that some people usually were talking against Chairman PPP because he was adamant to remove those who were supporting terrorism.

He said that there was zero tolerance for terrorists as far as Sindh government was concerned. Recently, an increase in target killing incidents was noticed in the city because MQM-London had stepped up its terrorist activities in Karachi but “our police and Rangers busted their gang,” he said.

K-IV

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that his government had started work on K-IV project in 2016 and the awarded the contract to FWO by relaxing Sindh PPRA rules so that the project could be completed in time. “But sorry to say the federal government was not cooperating to share the financial burden,” he said and added a federal minister had said that there was no need of K-IV project.

Murad said that in his first meeting with the prime minister he had taken up the K-IV project and had requested him to release required funds but nothing has been done so far. The cost has increased manifold because there were faults in it design. “We have offered the federal government to conduct third party audit and validation of the project but at least contribute its 50 percent share so that project could be completed for provision of water to this megalopolis city of Karachi.

To another question, Murad Ali Murad said that the solution of urban transport problem lied in Karachi Circular Railways. “We have got it approved from in CPEC but the federal government showed lukewarm attitude in 2016 and then it approved it but the present government has almost abandoned the KCR in CPEC,” he said.

Murad said that his government was working on Yellow Line, Orange Line and Red Line projects and Inshallah next year (2019-20) there would be a commendable progress in these projects.

Water Shortage

Yet to another question, the chief minister said that short releases to downstream Kotri has destroyed delta and the sea has started intruding around 80,000 acres of sweet land.

“We are not only facing short releases of funds from divisible pool but are faced with water shortage which is destroying agro economy and playing havoc with sweet lands downstream Kotri,” he concluded.

To a question about Ghanshm murder case, the chief minister said that it was initially turned to be personal amenity but the government was doing justice with the victim’s family. They requested for change of investigation team, the government changed it. “We will not allow anybody anywhere in Sindh to take law into his own hands,” he concluded.

 

MURAD DIRECTS HEALTH DEPT TO UTILIZE FUNDS FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTH FACILITIES

 

The Sindh CM while presiding over a meeting held to review progress on 170 ongoing development schemes of the health department being executed with a cost of Rs13 billion, expressed his displeasure over poor utilisation ratio of the released funds and directed the health and works department to complete at 17 important schemes by second week of June 2019.

“Health is the most important sector and the Sindh government is paying special attention to it, particularly construction of special wards, OPDS, ENT units, ICUs and up-gradation of RHC and other health facilities,” the chief minister said and added “if these schemes are not completed in time it would not be fair with the people of Sindh.

The meeting was attended by Minister health Dr Azra Pechuho, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary health Saeed Awan, Secretary Finance Najam Shah, Secretary Works Sajjad Abbasi, Secretary P&D Shireen Narejo, Special secretary Health Dr Dabeer, Member Development of P&D Fatah Tunio and others.

The health department has launched 170 schemes with an allocation of Rs13.5 billion against which Rs5.79 billion have been released while the utilization is Rs2.4 billion which constitutes 41.6 percent of the released funds. The chief minister said that the works and health departments are not focusing on the completion of the development schemes. He directed that health and works secretaries to sit together and work out a plan to complete maximum schemes at least those for which 100 percent allocation has been utilized.

The health department has launched 17 schemes, each of the schemes has an allocation of less or more than Rs25 million and their total allocation comes to Rs151.855 million against which the government has released Rs124.693 million but the expenditures are Rs37.558 million. The utilization of the released funds is 30.1 percent. The chief minister said that he is unhappy with the engineers of the works department who are not taking interest in completion of the schemes.