KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has halted issuance of Rs25 million from the provincial exchequer for the death anniversary preparations of Zufiqar Ali Bhutto after PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took notice of media reports in this regard. It is pertinent to mention here that PPP-led Sindh government had approved Rs25 million for the expenditure to be incurred on the 37th death anniversary of the PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on April 4.

According to a notification issued on March 28 from the finance department, the chief minister approved summary for issuance of Rs25 million. After approval from the finance department, the amount was kept at the disposal of Secretary General Administration who would then transfer it to the deputy commissioner Larkana for further expense.

The notification stated that the amount would be spent on the 37th death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, without mentioning its use for the security arrangements.

The provincial government and the PPP leaders, however, refuted the claims that the amount would be used for the preparations of the PPP founder’s death anniversary, saying the amount was asked by the district administration for making the security arrangements at the event. “This amount is released every year for security and other arrangements made by the local administration,” said PPP leader Latif Mughal. Other arrangements pertaining to the martyrdom anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto were organised by a ‘Mazar Committee’ comprising the PPP leaders who bear expenses on their own for the event. On the other hand, the PPP chairman took serious notice of the reports pertaining to the release of amount, saying all the expenditures on Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s martyrdom anniversary are met by the party from its own funds and resources and not a single penny is being spent from the government funds. Bilawal asked the CM to find out as to how and to whom these funds were released and the purpose behind it. A CM House official, on condition of anonymity, informed that the provincial government had halted the money transfer to the local administration after the PPP chairman took notice of the issue.

The official said although the provincial government does not have a bad intention in releasing funds for the event and it happens in other cases of public gatherings also but since the PPP chairman had taken notice of the issue therefore, they consider it important to halt these funds. Moreover, PPP leader Latif Mughal rubbished aside any no confidence from Bilawal Bhutto on the provincial government, saying the provincial government makes several policies and it has nothing to do with bringing every issue into the notice of the party leadership.