Qaim criticises Shahbaz for preferring road projects over health and education schemes

Source: Published in Politics on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

KHAIRPUR: Sindh Chief Minis­ter Syed Qaim Ali Shah has criticised his Punjab counterpart Shahbaz Sharif for spending billions on mega projects relating to road communication like Metro bus etc instead of according priority to health and education sectors.

Speaking at a dinner hosted for him by the Red Crescent Society (RCS) at Gymkhana Club here late on Monday evening, Mr Shah said he fully realised the importance of a perfect transport system but nothing was more important than life, health and livelihood.

“How can people enjoy easy and comfortable journey when they or their family members are starving or unwell?” he argued, and said that the Sindh government accorded suitable priorities to the education and health sectors.

“We have established 10 public universities and four district hospitals equipped with modern technology and facilities,” he said.

He used the occasion to direct the departments concerned to accelerate work on the Khairpur Civil Hospital building construction to ensure its early completion. He stressed the need for a healthy and pleasant interior, besides attractive exterior, of the building

The chief minister was critical of the federal government over the fate of the Pakistan Steel Mill, saying that one of the most valuable gifts to the people of Sindh from PPP founder chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was now in shambles. “Workers of the mill have not been getting their salaries for months while its machineries were being taken away or left to rot,” he observed.

Panama Papers probe

Explaining the views of Pakistan Peoples Party vis-a-vis the Panama Papers leaks and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s offer of an investigation into the allegations of his family members’ involvement in off-shore businesses and transactions, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that nobody should have any objection if the Supreme Court constitutes a body for a fair probe.

Mr Shah observed that in fact, powers of the judiciary were greater than the defined parameters of the judicial commission proposed by the prime minister in his letter to the chief justice of Pakistan.

“The judiciary can give its verdict based on the findings of the commission whatever the terms of reference state,” he said.

“What we want is justice, supremacy of Constitution and law, stability and solidarity of the country. Democracy should not be derailed or crippled at any cost,” said Mr Shah.

He observed that politics of processions was in vogue these days, and argued that everyone had the right to organise or take part in processions but no one could be allowed to take the law into his hands.

Law and order

The chief minister also spoke about law and order, saying that the situation had improved to great extent in Karachi as well as in the interior of Sindh.

He recalled that heinous crimes including kidnapping for ransom had become rampant across the province when the PPP government came into power but they had been controlled almost completely now.

“The credit goes to all law-enforcement agencies which demonstrated efficiency, seriousness and sincerity in ensuring peace across the province, including Karachi,” he observed.

He said people could now enjoy picnic and parties anywhere in Karachi without any fear.

Mr Shah told the audience that around 30,000 teachers had been recruited by his government on a purely merit basis “The funds are released through a third party to ensure transparency and avoid misappropriation,” he said, adding that if irregularities were still found in the process, then strict action would be taken against the offices concerned.

RCS chairman retired Justice Ali Aslam Jaffery, Sukkur Commi­ssioner Mohammed Abbas Baloch, Khairpur Deputy Commissioner Fayaz Ahmed Jatoi, Anjuman-i-Tajiran president Lala Ghaffar Shaikh and others also spoke.

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