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Friday December 03, 2021

Sindh govt report on education, health unsatisfactory: SC

May 06, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared a report submitted by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as “unsatisfactory” while hearing a suo motu case on the coronavirus situation in the country.

CJP Gulzar, who is heading the bench hearing the suo motu case, remarked that all affairs of the disaster management authority were “messed up”. He said that the government set up an N-95 factory for a private company.

“All the machinery and duties for the factory were paid in cash, the machinery was ordered by a chartered plane and the payment was made in cash,” observed the CJP. He also questioned why the Pakistan Embassy in China was used for buying the equipment.

“Is the Pakistan Embassy in China used for buying [material]?” asked CJP Gulzar. He also remarked that the chartered plane was also arranged via the embassy. “Does the Pakistani envoy in China do any diplomatic work or does he only buy things? This is a very dire situation,” observed the top judge of the country.

Apart from the NDMA, the Sindh government also drew the ire of the chief justice for not delivering despite the allocation of huge development funds. He remarked that the provincial government had allocated huge sums of money towards the education, health and other sectors.

“Sindh should have become Paris with the amount Sindh government [reports to have] spent,” Justice Gulzar told the additional advocate general of the province. The CJP observed that the Murad Ali Shah-led government in Sindh had stated that $2,006 million were spent on education in 2013 and 2017. He added that with this amount “Sindh’s education institutes should have turned into Harvard”.

“Schools in Sindh should have turned into palaces and the literacy rate should have been 100 percent but all the money goes in salaries,” said the CJP. The CJP was also irked by advocate general Sindh’s absence from the court. He directed the lawyer to submit a written reply on “non-appearance within 15 days”.

While speaking to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general, CJP Gulzar said that as per the report submitted, the positivity rate of the province has declined and wondered if the province was less affected by the third wave of COVID-19.

However, KP Advocate General Shumail Butt told the CJP that the province was, in fact, badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. “In some cities the positivity ratio has climbed to 40% which is why there has been a complete lockdown in some cities of the province,” Butt told the bench. However, he also told the court that luckily in the last three, four days the positivity rate had declined. The CJP, after reviewing the reports, adjourned the hearing of the case for a month.