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Saturday December 04, 2021

PTI accuses PPP of political mudslinging amid lockdown crisis

April 20, 2020

The Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Sindh’s lawmakers on Sunday said the Pakistan People's Party-led provincial government should “have mercy on the nation at least during the coronavirus pandemic, stop their mudslinging campaign against the federal government, and focus their attention on serving the people of the country”.

Sindh Assembly opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi, addressing a press conference at the Insaf House, said the Sindh chief minister had “admitted that the federal government was doing a good jo, but his cabinet ministers are issuing statements against the prime minister”.

“The PPP has already rocked the country’s boat. Now we earnestly request them to serve the people,” he said. Naqvi said the federal government had given 10,000 kits to the Sindh government. He said the Centre had also issued a National Action Plan and SOPs in the fight against coronavirus.

“The complete details are available about the material provided by the federal government to the provinces till March 17”. He said the facility of quarantine was initially provided by the federal government in Sindh.

The opposition leader said that out the province’s 29 districts, the coronavirus cases had been reported in 18 districts. In the remaining 11 districts, he added, it was yet to be ascertained if there were genuinely no cases of the COVID-19 or they were not reported due to a lack of testing.

“It is our opinion that a strict lockdown was never implemented in the province. Only some central roads of the megacity are closed, while the rest of the province is open.” Three days ago, he said, the prime minister had ordered a relaxation in the lockdown but the Sindh government had said they would make it stricter. However, due to their falling popularity amongst the people, the Sindh government later allowed bakers and factories to resume work, he said.

Naqvi said they would not allow the Sindh government to “play on both sides of the wicket”. He said more employment opportunities could be created in the agriculture and construction sectors in Pakistan.

Haleem Adil Sheikh, PTI’s parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly, said at this time his party did not want to criticise the PPP government. “If the PPP takes one step forward, we are ready to take 20 steps. We don’t have any personal differences with them.”

He said the PPP may criticise the federal government and “we will not object to it. However, we want to tell them to avoid the politics of fear and chaos in Sindh.” The PTI’s central vice president said the chief minister claimed that the growth ratio of the coronavirus in Sindh was the highest in the world. “Daily, dozens of citizens are arrested on the pretext of lockdown and detained together in congested groups, which will further increase their chances of getting the virus,” he said.

“Doctors say more dead bodies are being brought than patients. The chief minister accepts that the lung conditions of these people, pronounced dead on arrival, are similar to that of coronavirus patients,” he said, adding that the chief minister should stop spreading panic and fear.

Sheikh said the Ehsaas programme was the biggest welfare programme in the history of Pakistan and it was above any politics. “In just nine days, more than Rs53 billion have been distributed under this programme amongst 4.4 million families. In Sindh, Rs8 billion have been distributed among 1,503,000 families. This great job is done by the great Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he said.

He said it was a shame that the PPP leaders were displaying their pictures and posters on the DC offices. He said the Ehsaas programme funds were not being given from the pockets of the PPP leaders.

Sheikh said the Sindh government had claimed to give rations to two million families. “Can Saeed Ghani and Murtaza Wahab tell the people that how many families have received these rations?”

He asked the bureaucracy of Sindh to “stop working as the political stooges of the PPP.” He said the PTI leaders would every district and “unveil the faces of the politicised officers”. He said the federal government had given more aid to Sindh than any other province. Sheikh said relief material had been provided to all government hospitals in Sindh.

After the NFC Award and the 18th constitutional amendment, he said, the provincial governments had more powers. He said from the Rs12 billion package of the Sindh government, Rs6 billion were for the health department.