Karachi - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has called upon the federal government to ensure transparency in the ongoing population census, saying otherwise it would be difficult to deem it credible.

He was talking to media just after unveiling the plaque of PET-CT Scanner Service at SIUT Mehrun Nissa Medical Complex Korangi on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Education Minister Jam Khan Shoro, Secretary Health Fazlullah Pechuho and others. 

He said that he had written a letter to the federal government to communicate his concerns over the process, which also contained some suggestions. “But sorry to say, no response has been received from the Centre as yet,” he regretted.

The chief minister said that census was an important task. “Just I want them (census authorities) to count each and every individual; otherwise after four months or so people would be complaining that they had not been counted,” he said, and added “These complaints may affect the credibility of the census.”

He said that he had constituted a body to address the issue of nutrition which caused stunting and other problems to children. “All the donor agencies are on board and with their support the Sindh government is going to launch a comprehensive nutrition programme for mother and child,” he informed.

The chief minister, while replying to another question, said that the services at government hospitals had improved through encouragement and monitoring. “We have provided medicines at our hospitals besides other facilities like X-ray, lab tests etc,” he said, and added that running health facilities under the public-private partnership had created a visible difference.

Murad further told the media that vacant positions in all the universities under the public sector had been filled through competition, except Dow University which had been challenged in a court. “The position of controller of examination has also been advertised in the national press,” he said, and added that the chairmen of educational boards had also been appointed. “We are working to improve educational and administrative atmosphere in our universities,” he informed.

Earlier, while addressing the unveiling ceremony of PET-CT Scanner at SIUT, the chief minister said that Dr Adeeb Rizvi was doing a wonderful job. “I am ready to give you a cheque right now if you tell me how much funds you need to complete the project,” he said. 

Murad further said that his mission was to serve the ailing people of Sindh. “That’s why I have declared health emergency,” he said, and added, “When people like legendary Prof Adeeb Rizvi are with me I am sure I would succeed in my mission,” he expressed optimism.

The chief minister said that the PET- CT Scanner project was to be completed at a cost of Rs80 million and on the recommendation of Prof Dr Adeeb Rizvi he was going to announce 10 other such projects all over Sindh.

Professor Dr Adeeb Rizvi, while briefing the chief minister, said that during 2016 SIUT had provided medical treatment to more than three million patients, of whom 46 percent were from Sindh. “SIUT also operated 5000 cases of transplantation. Our OPD runs round the clock,” he added.

He further said that SIUT maintained record of patients scientifically which could be traced within few minutes. 

Rizvi said that when he had started his work in 1980 a dollar was equivalent to Rs10 and now it had touched Rs105. “But still SIUT has managed to grow,” he said, and added, “This growth is against the principles of economics, but we are Pakistanis and we can turn the impossible into possible,” he said and thanked the chief minister for his support.

CM assures no discrimination against Pakhtoons

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Pakhtoons have played an important role in the construction and transport sectors of Karachi. “They are our brothers and we will look after them properly,” he assured. 

He was talking to a delegation of PPP Balochistan, which called on him here under the leadership of Provincial General Secretary Iqbal Shah, Sardar Sarbuland Khan Jogezai and others.

The delegation complained that police harassed peaceful Pakhtoons living and working in Karachi and arrested them without any reason.

The chief minister said that Pakhtoons were like his brothers. “We respect them and they have contributed a lot to the construction and transport sectors of the city,” he said, and added that he would not allow any body to treat them badly. 

At the same time, he telephoned IG Police AD Khawaja and directed him to address the grievances of Pakhtoons living in Sindh.

The IG assured him that he would personally look into this matter. “As far as my personal knowledge is concerned no such discriminatory policy exists. Even then police would redress their grievances,” he told the CM.