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Monday July 22, 2024

PPP MPA’s criticism of govt performance upsets treasury benches

By Our Correspondent
June 21, 2024
PPP MPA Bibi Yasmeen Shah speaks during a session in Sindh Assembly flour on June 20, 2024. — Screengrab via Facebook/Samad Khoso
PPP MPA Bibi Yasmeen Shah speaks during a session in Sindh Assembly flour on June 20, 2024. — Screengrab via Facebook/Samad Khoso  

A Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker’s remarks that were highly critical of the performance of her party’s government in Sindh ruffled the feathers of her fellow legislators on the treasury benches in the provincial assembly on Thursday.

PPP MPA Bibi Yasmeen Shah was speaking in the House as the legislature commenced a general discussion on the newly presented provincial government budget for the financial year 2024-25.

The lawmaker elected on a seat reserved for women in the PA lamented that there is not a single public educational institution in her home town Badin whose existence can make her feel proud. She said that some of the government-run primary schools in District Badin are being used as pens to keep domesticated animals.

She pointed out that according to the academic standards, every set of 20 students in a school should be taught by one teacher, but at various public schools in Badin, every teacher is assigned more than 100 students, gravely affecting their education.

She also lamented that doctors have been posted to public health facilities in Badin but have not been performing their duties due to a sheer lack of monitoring by the government authorities.

She said a heart patient from Badin needs to travel for an hour to get emergency treatment at the nearest cardiac care facility affiliated with the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Tando Muhammad Khan.

She pointed out that this often proves fatal due to the unavailability of immediate lifesaving intervention in the district. She demanded that an NICVD-linked treatment facility be built in Badin to save the lives of heart patients in the area.

She also said she found conditions at the Civil Hospital Badin highly distressing when she paid a surprise visit to the major health facility in her area. Her remarks in the House were often punctuated by the thumping of desks by the opposition lawmakers.

PA Speaker Awais Qadir Shah apparently attempted in vain to cut her speech short by reminding her that the time allocated to her for delivering a speech in the House had ended.

Delivering his speech, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Muhammad Dilawar said people in his constituency comprising residential areas in Karachi’s District South have suffered a lot due to chronic water supply and sewerage system issues.

Dilawar said the provincial government has completely failed in delivering basic civic facilities and amenities to the residents of District South despite the fact that it is home to top government installations, and head offices of several banking, commercial and financial institutions like State Bank, State Life and Stock Exchange.

He said the provincial government should ensure the earliest completion of the K-IV project without putting the entire blame on Islamabad for the undue delay in the commissioning of the vital bulk water supply scheme for Karachi.

MQM legislator Rashid Khilji complained that the budget of the Civil Hospital Hyderabad has been curtailed. He lamented that there has been no increase in the water quota for the residents of Hyderabad.

Khilji said that free-of-charge textbooks have not been supplied to the students at government-run schools, contrary to the promise made by the educational authorities. MQM lawmaker Bilquees Mukhtar said Karachi has been facing a massive water shortfall daily. She said injustice should not be done to the residents as they live in the capital city of Sindh.

She lamented that the newly unveiled Sindh government budget does not give preference to resolving serious water woes of Karachiites. She said the K-IV bulk water supply scheme should have been completed in 10 years in accordance with the initial plan of the government.

She also said that the basic rights of the residents of Karachi should be fulfilled while considering that the provincial capital has been generating resources for the financial well-being of the entire country.