1,000 tonnes of Saudi dates doled out to undeserving


ISLAMABAD: A consignment of 1,000 tonnes of dates from the Saudi Arabian government for the poor and deserving people of Pakistan have allegedly been distributed by the officials among people favoured by them. 
This has happened despite clear instructions by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to distribute the dates among the deserving people across the country, officials revealed. 
A top official at the Prime Minster’s House revealed to Daily Times that the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Islamabad formally handed over the consignment on behalf of the Kingdom to the Cabinet Division. Senior officials of the Foreign Office and PM Secretariat were also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had thanked the Saudi crown prince on behalf of the government for the dates and expressed gratitude for the “grand gesture of friendship”, and directed the PM House officials to distribute the dates equally to all the provinces. 
The prime minister had also directed that the dates be distributed to the deserving people only, especially the drought-affected people of Thar. However, the bureaucrats have allegedly distributed the dates to the people they favour, while ignoring the deserving people.
Daily Times made multiple attempts to contact the PM Secretariat and Cabinet Division’s spokesmen for the government’s version on the issue, but both declined to share any details or give a response. Prior to gifting the dates, Saudi Arabia helped Pakistan with financial assistance. Last month, it came to light that the Kingdom had given $1.5 billion to Pakistan to push up its forex reserves. 

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