KARACHI - Chairman, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zaradari, on Saturday, castigated the federal government for prioritising economic development over health at a time when the whole nation was fighting against the deadly pandemic of COVID-19.

Addressing a press conference, the PPP chief flanked by Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Health Minister, Dr. Azra Pechuho and other party leaders, he said urged all the government allies to “quickly dissociate from the coalition if they want to stay clean from any treason” against the country.

Lauding thte role of Baloch stalwart Akhtar Mengal, Bilawal said that he had no valid reason left for him to stay with this government and hopedAkhtar Mengal would stick to his decision.

Bilawal said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s opposition to the 18th amendment and the National Finance Commission award to the provinces was obvious for anyone to see.

Bilawal said that the prime minister was also against the 1973 constitution. Criticising the PM for speaking against the 18th amendment and the NFC commission, he said that the prime minister should have known better than to speak against the province where he was on a visit. He said it was highly lamentable that the prime minister equalled Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to a dictator. He said that the government would be hard pressed to find even one hospital at par with the quality of the National Insititute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). He said if the federal government was able to point out even one that comes up to its standards, the province would surrender control of all three hospitals sought by the government – the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the National Institute of Child Health (NICH).

Politics of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is confined to mere statements, says Murad Saeed

The PPP chairman said that the province had experienced economic repercussions as a result of the pandemic and the upcoming budgetary allocation was a great injustice with hospitals. He claimed that the government announced a Rs70 billion budget but under the fine print, one will find that the amount is kept aside for a “slush fund” to be used by PTI MNAs. “The government has cut down the budgets of the provinces and expects us to fight the outbreak on our own,” he said.

PTI leaders take strong exception to press conference by PPP Chairman

Senior leaders of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) belonging to Sindh have taken strong exception to the press conference conducted by PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari this afternoon, and cited it an amateur attempt to discredit the opponents.

Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed  also reacted to Bilawal’s press conference saying that Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf  government had increased Sindh’s share in Ehsaas programme by 10 per cent due to prevailing poverty there. He said that the prime minister’s visit to Larkana, the home constituency of Bilawal was meant to distribute cheques of financial assistance to the vulnerable segments of the society under Ehsaas programme.  He said that last year, Rs 192 billion were allocated for Ehsaas programme whereas this year the amount had been raised to Rs 208 billion. Moreover, Rs 144 billion more were added in wake of the financial crisis due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country,  Murad Saeed added. He said that when corona related lock down started, labourers at Thar coal mines were facing starvation and Sindh Governor Imran Ismail arranged financial support for them. However the provincial government, instead of thanking him acted negatively. Similarly when PTI MNAs from Karachi were given grants by the Federal Government for resolution of water crisis in their respective constituencies, the provincial government took stay from courts.

Murad Saeed reminded that  no new tax was imposed in the upcoming federal budget and Prime Minister Imran Khan gave Pakistan’s history’s biggest relief package to 16 million vulnerable families. He said that Sindh government had promised to provide ration to the people, but every day they had to listen to the “Bhashan”(lecture) of the PPP leadership. He said Pakistan People’s Party failed to resolve the grievances being faced by the people of Karachi and Sindh. He said the politics of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was confined to mere statements.  He said that Rs 5.5  trillion were given to Sindh for improvement of health sector, but the condition of the health infrastructure was so bad that the provincial government could not arrange a ventilator for Dr. Furqan, who caught the virus while fighting the pandemic. He invited Bilawal to come to KPK and see himself the health infrastructure and he would visit Sindh. He said such comparison would be beneficial for the people as this would help improve infrastructure. He said that perhaps Bilawal had not read the budget document, as the federal government had allocated Rs 70 billion for corona-related schemes.