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January 28, 2020

Federal, Sindh govt enjoy rare bonhomie

Top Story

January 28, 2020

KARACHI: There was new-found bonhomie between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led federal government and the Sindh government agreed to a ‘working relationship’ after Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah of replacing incumbent IGP Sindh Kaleem Imam with one of the three officials suggested by the Sindh government.

The consensus between the federal and provincial governments emerged after Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at Governor’s House Karachi and briefed the Premier about prevailing law and order situation in the province and requested him to replace the IGP Kaleem Imam and appoint one of the three officials whose names were suggested by the provincial government. The issue had remained a bone of contention between the federal government and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Sindh government for the last several weeks, as the Sindh wanted immediate removal of IGP claiming he had failed to perform satisfactorily. The federal government, however, was not willing to do so and insisted that Kaleem Imam he would continue to serve as the provincial police chief. Sources privy to the meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Sindh Murad Ali Shah, which was also attended by the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, claimed that provincial Governor also advocated Sindh’s demand for the removal of IGP.

The Sindh CM in his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday afternoon also discussed a number of issues, including development schemes, wheat shortage, locust swarm attacks, an increasing number of polio cases and the threat of Coronavirus. The prime minister assured the chief minister that all these issues would be looked into and efforts would be made to resolve them on a top priority basis. Discussing development schemes, the chief minister told the prime minister that some of the important projects of the province were pending in Planning and Development Ministry. Shah also told the prime minister that the on-going federal government projects in Karachi were also moving at a slow pace.

The Prime Minister assured that he would direct the Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umer to expedite the Sindh government’s development schemes. About the slow pace of the federal schemes in Karachi, the prime minister assured the chief minister that they would be completed at the earliest.

Sindh Chief Minister also raised the issue of locust swarm with the Prime Minister, saying locust swarms have wreaked havoc with the standing crops in the country, particularly in Sindh. The chief minister said that it was high time to destroy them in the desert where their breeding would start as and when the desert receives rains. Over shortage of aircraft for spraying the locusts,. the chief minister proposed hiring them from China and UAE so that timely action could be taken and disaster averted. The prime minister directed the plant protection department of the federal government department to take emergent measures and start spray in the desert areas.

During the meeting, the issue of the increasing number of polio cases, were also discussed over which the prime minister expressed serious reservations. The chief minister said that the poliovirus was not only crippling our children but going to isolate Pakistan in the international community. “We, in Sindh, have taken drastic measures to control poliovirus but due to frequent travels from and to Afghanistan, Balochistan and KP the virus emerges again and again”, Murad Ali Shah said and Shah suggested the prime minister to restrategise to control the spread of poliovirus in the country. The prime minister said that he would call the meeting of the National Polio Eradication Taskforce meeting in which all the stakeholders would be invited to change and further strengthen the strategy to control it.

They also discussed the emergence of deadly Coronavirus in China and the Sindh chief minister pointed out a Coronavirus-like case has been detected in Multan. He said that it might not be Coronavirus but added that Chinese nationals were working Pakistan in large numbers. In Sindh, the Chinese nationals were engaged in Thar and Karachi, therefore travel advisory for them and people of Pakistan may also be issued. The prime minister directed National Institute of Health, Islamabad to develop its testing system and directed all the provinces to follow the WHO precautionary measures. The Chinese working in Pakistan should also be guided according, the prime minister said.

The prime minister and the chief minister also discussed the wheat shortage and the prime minister said he would call a meeting on the issue shortly. The chief minister said that the new wheat crop would be harvested from March in the province, therefore the government needs to make necessary arrangements to meet the requirements of about one and half month.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran has said that Mafias were responsible for the price-hike in Pakistan and vowed that he would not let Mafias thrive in the country and each and every Mafia would be busted.

Speaking at a cheque distribution ceremony of the Kamyab Jawan Programme, where he distributed cheques among young people, who had applied for loans to start their own business, Prime Minister Imran Khan said youth was the country's "biggest asset" and said his government would invest as much as they could to empower the young population. "Young people can uplift a nation because they have time to work hard as they have ambitions and those ambitions take them, as well as the country, higher", he said and added that his government had launched several programs for the youth so that they could earn their livelihood with respect and added that the more they would invest in the youth, the more Pakistan will progress.

Imran Khan maintained that it was important to uphold merit to ensure the success of a nation. Directing Usman Dar, his special assistant to provide loans purely on merit irrespective of political affiliation, Imran Khan said this programme will only succeed when it provides loans on merit. He maintained that dishonesty causes programs to fail and regretted that while Pakistanis who lived overseas were able to succeed in every field, they could not grow at home because of dishonesty and a lack of merit.

Meanwhile, the MQM did not attend the meetings with the prime minister on Monday at Karachi. Speaking about the issue, MQM-P Faisal Sabzwari told the Geo News said they had felt that their issues have remained unresolved and merely meeting the prime minister would not alone be helpful. Talking about the issue, Sindh Governor said the MQM-P is their valuable ally who has not parted away from the government and they will be back in the government fold soon.

Prime Minister also met a delegation of traders and businessmen along with his team and Governor State Bank and assured the visiting businessmen of resolving all their issues. He also visited the Kingri House in Karachi where he met Pir Pagara, the chief of Grand Democratic Alliance and other political personalities of the alliance and assured them that political allies of the government would be taken along and their genuine demands would be met.

A delegation of Indus Hospital Network led-by its Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdul Bari Khan also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed issues pertaining to health in Sindh and the rest of the country. The Prime Minister told the visiting delegation that he was aware of the health issues facing the nation and added that every possible help and assistance would be provided to charitable organizations like Indus Health Network which are serving the ailing humanity without any commercial interest.