Tuesday November 28, 2023

If one child dies of severe cold, govt to be held responsible: Khursheed

Earthquake-affected areas ...Opposition leader urges emergency relief measures for quake-hit people

By our correspondents
November 11, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday said that if one child dies due to the severe cold weather in the October 26 earthquake-affected areas, the government will be held responsible.
Speaking on a point of order in the NA, he asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to declare an emergency in the earthquake-affected areas where the victims had been facing hardships due to the harsh weather.
The opposition leader said the government might be making tall claims of undertaking mega development projects and addressing the plight of masses but people in the earthquake-affected areas and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had been spending miserable lives.
He said the earthquake-affected people, particularly of Chitral, Dir, Shangla, Swat and Bajaur, were facing great difficulties in the cold weather. He urged the federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to take notice of the plight of the earthquake-affected people and address their issues on priority basis.
Khursheed Shah said that the cost of new Islamabad Airport had escalated to Rs100 billion while the government was metro bus and orange train. “Such projects are of no use if masses do not get employment and the sufferings of the earthquake-affected people are not addressed,” he said.
He said the relief and rehabilitation work in affected areas would speed up only when the prime minister and the KP chief minister visit these places and establish their camps there. “The prime minister should establish a camp in Swat and KP chief minister in Shangla,” he said.
Reacting to allegations of irregularities in the local bodies polls in the first phase as raised by former Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, the opposition leader said that there would be no end to allegations of rigging unless electoral reforms are introduced.
The execution of metro train projects and beautification of Islamabad would not ease life either of the common man or the earthquake-affected people and IDPs, he added.
Later, the chair also allowed other members of the House to speak on the plight of earthquake-affected people as the parliamentarians called emergency measures to address their problems.
Shahabuddin who also hails from Fata threatened to resign from the NA for what he said ‘insufficient measures taken so far to help people of his tribal agency. “I have handed over my resignation to Amir Muqam,” he said and then walked out of the House.
Prior to walking out, Shahabuddin said the KP governor ignored him during visits of the president and the prime minister to Fata. “I was not even informed about visit of the prime minister and was confined to my house during visit of the president,” he said.
Sahibzada Tariqullah and Sher Akbar Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) demanded release of special funds for earthquake-affected areas of Malakand division including Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Buner districts and other areas.
Iftikharuddin said that Chitral district was also badly affected by earthquake. However, he praised the prime minister for visiting the area and distributing cheques among victims.
Dr Ibadullah told the house that around 150,000 people of 22,000 families were hit by last month’s earthquake. He expressed his satisfaction over the measures being taken for relief and rehabilitation of affected people saying a lot was still needed to be done.
Speaking on a point of order, Raja Aamir Zaman said the concerned authorities have planned expansion of the Pakistan Military Academy and for that purpose acquisition of private land had also started. He complained that the authorities have fixed the official price of the acquired land at Rs100,000 per kanal whereas the market price of land there is one million rupees.