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April 7, 2019

Imran should step down before economy plunges further: CM


April 7, 2019

Brushing aside Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer to provide a container to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for their sit-in, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari does not need such facilities.

The province’s chief executive warned the country’s premier that when Zardari decides to bring his march on the roads of Islamabad, the PM would have no other option but to make arrangements for his exit.

CM Shah made these remarks on Saturday while talking to the media at the Mohatta Palace, where he launched the Latif National Conference as the chief guest. The event was organised by the Siraj Institute of Sindh Studies in collaboration with the Endowment

Fund Trust.

Shah said the PPP has no need of PM Khan’s container and food. “We have a long history of struggle and sacrifices, and we know how to hold a sit-in and launch protest campaigns. [Khan] has gone berserk and should step down before the economy plummets further.”

Regarding Asad Umar’s New York visit, the CM said the federal finance minister must take care of his premier because he is about to commit [political] suicide.

“Everything has been turned upside down, particularly the national economy. The [FBR’s] revenue recoveries are at a historic low. The rupee is shedding its value against the dollar every day. The price hikes have further aggravated the miseries of the poor.”

Shah said that these are the policies of the federal government that have been agitating the people, and so they will take to the streets when Zardari calls them.

Thar coal project

Replying to a question, the CM said the Sindh government has spent Rs1 billion on the development of infrastructure in Thar and has finally realised the dream of Benazir Bhutto by generating electricity from the Thar coal project.

“We are of the view that this electricity must be given to the people of Thar and the rest of Sindh, but the agreement between the federal and provincial governments calls for pumping electricity into the national grid through the transmission line laid by

the Centre.”

He said Thar has the potential to provide electricity to the entire country for industrial and domestic purposes. He vowed to expand the coal-fired power plant projects, and said that other such projects will be installed at Keti Bandar.

Shah said that the federal government has already committed a dacoity in broad daylight, robbing Sindh’s resources, such as gas and electricity, and now they are planning to control our coal reserves. “But we will not allow them to do that!”

The CM said that three other coal-field blocks in Thar have been developed, and that coal mining would be started there very soon. “Coal is the cheapest source of energy, and we as a nation must exploit our coal resources to generate electricity for industrial development.”

National conference

Addressing the Latif National Conference, the chief executive said that Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai gathered the people of different religions and beliefs on a single platform through his poetry. “His message is the message of love, fraternity and humanity.”

He said that through his poetry, Bhittai has taught us the lesson of untiring hard work and struggle for achieving the goal of becoming good human beings. “Before him [Bhittai], the main objective was to keep our Creator, the Almighty Allah, content with our humble actions.”

CM Shah said that Bhittai’s message is embedded in his heart and soul. “When I was a child, my father Syed Abdullah Shah used to drop me at my school every morning, and on our way to my school, he used to recite Bhittai’s poems and then interpreted them in simple Sindhi for me.”

The chief executive said that most of Bhittai’s poems are still in his memory. He observed that most of the literary figures invited to the conference had arrived very late.

“People who are very close to literature cannot wake up early in the morning, and people like me who are slightly away from literature are in the habit of waking up early,” he said in a lighter mood. “We have to find out the reason of waking up late.”

He lauded the efforts of the Siraj Institute of Sindh Studies for publishing 18 books in four years. “I am sure the institute being run by leading literary figures like Fahmida Hussain would publish more books and carry on research work left incomplete by Siraj Memon.”

CM Shah also launched some Sindhi books on the occasion, as well as announced that his government would provide funds to the Siraj Institute for conducting research and for publishing literary works.

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