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Sindh CM can’t save skin in sugar mill subsidy scam: PTI leaders

Top Story

May 29, 2020

KARACHI: Accusing Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah of corruption, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders on Thursday said the CM would have to face an inquiry into “the mega sugar mill subsidy scam”.

“The nation knows why leaders of the Pakistan People Party are running away from the inquiry commission,” said PTI leaders as they addressed a press conference at the Insaf House mainly. The presser which was held as a response information minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Sindh government’s spokesman Murtaza Wahab’s press conferences.

Talking to media, Haleem Adil Shaikh, PTI’s parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly, said if federal minister Asad Umar recorded a statement before the probe commission, but why “PPP leaders are shying away from it”.

“Even Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar can also record his statement because his hands are clean,” said Sheikh, who is also the party’s central vice president.

Mentioning the press conference of Nasir and Wahab, Sheikh said their body languages “were of the loser gamblers when they were talking about the JIT on the sugar mill subsidy scam”.

“Wahab claimed that CM Murad has always presented him before inquiry commissions whenever he is called. But Wahab did not tell that CM Murad had not presented him before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when his warrants were issued,” Sheikh said. “Even PPP supremo Bilawal Bhutto Zardari did not appear before NAB.”

Shiekh claimed that the Sindh CM had given “illegal subsidies of four types: a subsidy to sugar mills, subsidy to ‘sick’ industries, subsidy to captive power projects and the subsidy to tractor schemes”.

“In fact,” he added, “these four subsidies were given to the notorious Omni Group and its lackeys.”

PTI Karachi President Khurram Sher Zaman said “the incompetent chief minister of Sindh keeps criticising” instead of solving the problems.

He said the list of the province’s problems was too long and, ironically, new issues would arise every day before the old ones were solved. “It is because of the incompetence of the Sindh government,” said Sherzaman, who is also a lawmaker.

He said PPP supremos Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had been “missing for two and a half months” just when “the people of Sindh have been facing a range of issues”.

“Because of the lockdown, the unemployment in the province has risen after the factories laid off a large number of workers. Traders have also suffered from severe financial losses,” he said. “But instead of resolving the issues of the people, Sindh ministers are participating in TV shows to defend the corruption in sugar mill scams.”

The PTI leader said his party had strongly opposed the lockdown because they were aware of the ground situation of the city. “Now people have to take to the streets against the lockdown. Businesses across the province are closed at 5 pm. More than two months have been passed and the public transport has been closed.”

Sherzaman said that because of “the incompetence of the Sindh CM and his anti-poor policies and decisions”, thousands of people across the province were losing jobs daily.

He said the province had been desperate for water and quality healthcare facilities. “The people of Karachi are longing for a drop of water. Karachi’s residents want to know who are owners of more than 150 the illegal hydrants operating in the city.”

He said Sindh ministers only knew how to restrict the people of Karachi to their homes and had nothing to do with their welfare. “Inflation is on the rise across the province. It is not the job of the federation to control prices, it is the responsibility of the provincial government,” he said.

He alleged that the Sindh government wanted to disturb the federation through the lockdown in Karachi. “During the coronavirus crisis, Sindh ministers have got an ideal opportunity to make money and most of the ministers have become billionaires,” he said.

PTI MNAs Aftab Siddiqui, Alamgir Khan, Aftab Jahangir, General Secretary Karachi Saeed Afridi, Karachi Spokesperson Jamal Siddiqui and others were also present at the press conference.