Don’t make two Pakistans, Sindh CM warns Centre


KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has issued a dire warning to the federal government against making “two Pakistans” asking the federal government not to create another East India Company in Sindh by neglecting the provincial government and favouring local parliamentarians in the event of awarding development funds. Murad Ali Shah showed his vexation over the unequal distribution of development funds by the federal government to the provinces saying Sindh has been granted lower funds as compared to other provinces. Talking to a presser at the Sindh House in Islamabad on Tuesday, the Sindh chief minister bitterly regretted that the federal government instead of approving Sindh government’s development schemes, had only approved schemes of MNAs and MPAs. He said he would submit a note of dissent tomorrow vowing not to give up his province’s right. He said injustice was being done to the province. He bemoaned that the federal government had decreased funds allocation for the province and demanded 25% more share in the funds. Mr Shah said Sindh had registered its strong protest with the federal government for not consulting provinces on the matter of development schemes. He lamented one political party in the province raised its voice in favour of governor’s rule in the Sindh and then another party clamored for separate province. People have already rejected both these parties, he added. He also pointed out that Prime Minister Imran Khan was releasing development fund money directly to the parliamentarians for the repair and overhaul of the streets and sewerage system. But, he regretted, not a single scheme recommended by the Sindh government was approved by the federal government. He said Sindh was allocated less funds for the construction of road structure. He said when he objected to this injustice, he was told that the government was under pressure of the MPs who could ditch the government if funds were not provided to them. He revealed that approval of development schemes in Gujrat and South Punjab was the result of this threat. The CM said the federal government was committing contempt of court as the Supreme Court had very clearly ordered the government not to release development funds to any parliamentarian. He demanded of the federal government if it had more funds, then give these funds to the provincial governments instead of giving them to the MNAs or MPAs. He questioned why the federal government was doing this to Sindh alone. Mr Shah said the federal government raised the slogan of not two but one Pakistan. He questioned the rationale if it were one Pakistan. The CM said that National Economic Council was a constitutional institute having representation of all the federating units. According to the constitution, there should be at least two meetings of the NEC in a year. He said he had already informed the premier that NEC should meet. He said during the present government’s tenure, the NEC should have met six times but it could hold only three meetings so far. He regretted that government was not following the constitution. Mr Shah said he wrote a letter to PM Imran on June 5, 2021 adding that from June 5 to June 7 he didn’t get the NEC meeting’s agenda. He said the very next day, the meeting was supposed to approve the budget for PSDP. He lamented that Sindh’s reservations were not removed. He said he talked about the refurbishment of road structure. He ruesed that in National Highway Authority (NHA) projects, Sindh was allocated funds worth Rs7 billion while Punjab was given Rs132 billion. He said he had no grudge against Punjab or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as he regarded CMs of both the provinces as his own brothers. He was happy that they were given development funds but he was fighting for his province’s right. He said Sindh’s share was increased from Rs7 billion to Rs15 billion. He said Rs42 billion were earmarked for KP. He said Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway was constructed in the PPP government which was in a very shape. He also appreciated the motorway from Sukkur to Punjab. He bemoaned that the road plans suggested by the Sindh government were not included in the NHA portfolio. He said a dual carriageway from Jamshoro to Sehwan was supposed to be started in 2017. But the federal government asked Sindhgovernment to provide half of the amount and the provincial government allocated Rs7 billion for this purpose. He said now it’s 2021, and look where did this plan stand. He said it seemed as if he were talking to deaf people. He said the road from Jamshoro to Sehwan was in dilapidated shape. Last year the UC chairman of Jhangara was killed in road accident here. The CM said he asked the federal government if it could not make this road, then the provincial government would make it in a year’s time. He said Rs15 billion were set aside for the 14 schemes of Punjab in the finance division of treasury department and Rs66 billion for KP and only two schemes of Sindh were approved under this head. He said the province proposed 17 schemes. He said Punjab schemes jumped from 15 to 18 and the funds also increased to Rs20 billion. Mr Shah said Punjab’s 11 road sector schemes were approved whereas no scheme of Sindh in NHA or finance department was granted. He said the federal government was rubbing salt on Sindh’s wounds. He said he was raising objections only because of the fact that his province was being neglected. He said the Sindh government had claimed over Behria Town money deposited in the Supreme Court. He said only Sindh assembly could allow the use of this money. He said the Supreme Court had regularized the Behria Town like Bani Gala. The Sindh CM said that the federal government while making allegations of corruption was doing injustice to the province. He lamented that they were wrongfully involved in the corruption cases to deprive the province of its rights. He complained if the government people got involved in the corruption cases, the government made committees of its own people and got them absolved of all the charges. On vaccination campaign in the province, Mr Shah said that he did not want to indulge in politics on corona pandemic. He said that he was thankful on the provision of Covid-19 vaccine. But, he said, it was not a favour by the government. The federal government places vaccine order and Sindh contribution to the revenue is 70%, he added.


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