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January 31, 2018

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Not aware where Rao Anwar is hiding, claims Sindh CM

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday claimed that he was not aware of the whereabouts of Rao Anwar, saying ‘no accused is above the law’ and added that the Sindh Police were striving hard to arrest him, for which all other provincial governments and agencies had been requested tohelp.

“On the issue of Rao, we constituted an inquiry committee, which gave its report within 48 hours and on the recommendations of the committee action was taken in letter and spirit," Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah said while talking to newsmen after launching the European Union assisted `Programme for Improved Nutrition in Sindh’ here at a local hotel.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that he didn’t know where Rao Anwar was hiding but said “I know that no accused is more powerful than the law”. Police are working hard to arrest Rao Anwar for which all other provincial governments and agencies had been requested to help.

He said that he was working day and night for provision of health services to the poor people of this province. “Our EPI and other vertical programs have shown considerable progress and we are working to improve them further,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah said that his government had launched a program to upgrade 300 basic health units, of them 280 have been upgraded and made BHU plus, meaning they provide health services round the clock.

Earlier, addressing the ceremony, the chief minister thanked the European Union and all other development partners for joining hands in various initiatives, including nutrition programme. “It saddens me to say that more than 48 percent of the children in Sindh suffer from stunting (low height for age), and around 15 percent are acutely malnourished (low weight for height),” Murad Ali Shah said and added recognizing the need of addressing malnutrition was a top priority and the Sindh Government, with the technical support of the World Bank, has prepared Accelerated Action Plan (AAP) namely 'SehatmandSindh’ for reduction of stunting and malnutrition in the province.

He said the financial outlay for AAP is Rs67,785.555 million for the coming five years. “This plan is fortified and complemented by a variety of multi-sectoral interventions,” he vowed. The chief minister maintained that the World Food Program is a committed partner of the Sindh government and playing a commendable role in addressing malnutrition among children and women through a $48 million program.

The chief minister said the recently completed EU funded project of Women and Children Improved Nutrition Sindh (WINS) in four districts has also played a pivotal role in improving the nutrition status in the targeted districts.

He said the Sindh government is wholeheartedly grateful to the European Union for its Programme for Improving Nutrition in Sindh (PINS), focusing on nutrition specific interventions and nutrition sensitive sectors, including WASH; Agriculture and Livestock. The PINS would cover 10 districts of the province with an outlay 68.25 million Euros, out of which the European Union has also pledged a sum of 60 million Euros.

“Disadvantaged and marginalized segments of the society in Sindh owe a great responsibility to all of us,” Murad Ali Shah said and added contrary to the availability of food, access to nutrient food was substantially unaffordable to this segment of society. “With collective efforts, we can turn the tide and achieve this most needed and loftiest of causes, aiming for a society that is really healthy,” he said.

Jean-François Cautain, Ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan, said the EU is working with the Sindh government for improving health indicators in the province and during 2013 to 2017, it worked on minimizing maternal and infant mortality rates in the province.

“Now we are working on improving nutritional status in the province and in this regard, we are also ready to provide technical assistance to the Sindh government”, he said, adding that they were also working in other provinces of Pakistan for improving nutritional status of women and children.

Chairman Sindh Planning and Development Board Muhammad Waseem, Coordinator to Sindh Chief Minister on Nutrition Mir Hussaain Ali and Shoaib Sultan Khan also spoke on the occasion.

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