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May 19, 2019

Vawda claims launching self-employment scheme, he’s wrong

Top Story

May 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Six weeks after making a claim that “there will be so many jobs within next four weeks that organisations will run out of people to employ”, Faisal Vawda has claimed of giving interest-free loans to 1000 people in Karachi to start their own businesses. The News has found even this claim untrue.

Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda made the announcement through a tweet late Friday. “As per the vision of PM Imran Khan, we have initiated the self-employment programme from Baldia, Karachi today Alhamdolillah. As many as 1,000 people given funds to start their own businesses, not a single penny of provincial or Fed govt used. Insha Allah soon we’ll be taking it to the whole country.”

Even before he could announce this “breaking news” Shahbaz Gill hastened to tweet lauding self-employment scheme initiated by Vawda for uplifting the poor through interest-free loans so they could start their own businesses. “He is true to his words,” the spokesman for Punjab chief minister Gill said paying a rich tribute to Vawda who retweeted this tweet.

The News investigation found that the event under question was a cheque-distribution ceremony of Akhuwat Foundation, Pakistan’s largest interest-free micro-finance organisation which is non-political and non-governmental in nature. Around 1,000 people were given cheques of Rs20,000 each. Not a single penny was contributed either by Vawda or anybody affiliated with him. He had only attended the programme and distributed cheques of AKhuwat Foundation. Although Vawda mentioned in a passing reference Akhuwat, there is not a slight hint to credit that the event was of this NGO and he was there only as a guest with zero monetary contribution. “Akhuwat organisation and the likes is the reason we proudly say today that humanity is still alive. After Eid the PM will be taking this programme to a bigger level. It is our responsibility to lend a helping hand to the less privileged and together we will achieve it,” he tweeted.

Background investigations further reveals that Akhuwat organises events countrywide and welcomes the participation of the local influentials in the cheque distribution ceremonies. Sometimes back, such an event was organised in Swabi, the district of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. He was in attendance. Taking cue from there, Vawda desired the holding of such an event in Baldia Karachi, his constituency, and identified a mosque as the venue since Akhuwat organises events in collaboration with the local mosques. Of 1,000 people handed over cheques, as many as 183 were from Baldia and again they were selected by Akhuwat, not by Vawda. The remaining recipients were transported there from other 10 zonal offices of Akhuwat in Karachi. Sensing that the event could be politicised as Vawda was present there together with a couple of PTI MPAs, the organisers reminded the participants that Akhuwat was totally non-political and non-governmental organisation and works independently, however, welcomes support from everybody and every organisation wishing to join its mission. Nevertheless, Vawda gave it a political colour inferring as if the cheque distribution was his self-employment initiative. He was not available for comments when tried to approach through his phone.

Vawda has made ridiculous statements on job generations in the past. On April 9, he predicted that there would be too many jobs within next four weeks that organisations will run out of people to employ. Three days later, he said his ministry would create 28,000 jobs within a year. He stood the ground when pressed on it a few days later and instead suggested to be torn into pieces if his claim turned out false.

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