Thar, Kohistan declared drought-hit: Sharjeel

KARACHI: Sindh Information and Local Bodies Minister Sharjeel Memon on Monday said that the Sindh government has declared Kohistan and Tharparkar as drought-hit areas and free wheat would be provided to the affectees in these areas.
Talking to media at his office along with PDMA Director General Syed Salman Shah, Memon said that the decision was taken during a special meeting of Sindh cabinet at Bilawal House on Sunday. The meeting also approved establishment of Kohistan Development Authority, similar to Thar Development Authority. 
He said that the government had also decided to provide hand pumps, reverse osmosis plants and solar energy equipments in the area. 
“The solar energy devices will be provided to schools and households for an uninterrupted supply in the drought-hit areas,” adding that the decision to provide solar energy system was taken as the provincial government could not setup electricity plants in the area as it was under the federal government that did nothing for the people of Sindh. 
He said that the PM Nawaz-led government was inaugurating projects without considering their feasibility and claimed that a recently inaugurated power plant project at Gadani was wound up due to its non-feasibility. “Investors have refused to invest in the power project at Gadani, however, they were ready to invest in a power project proposed by PPP at Ketty Bandar,” he said.
“PDMA has been directed to start relief activities in the drought-hit areas. We are taking special care for women and children’s health in the areas and the Ministry of Health dispatched doctors in these areas,” he said. 
The minister said that the provincial government would not leave the affected alone and would continue to serve them as they have been serving them for the past three years, which witnessed destruction from droughts and floods.
Responding to current political situation, Memon said that PPP co-Chairman Asif Zardari’s meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore was aimed at strengthening democracy and the party assured the prime minister that they do not want to take advantage of the current crisis. 
He said that PM Nawaz Sharif went to apex court in the memo-gate scandal to weaken the PPP government but they would continue their reconciliation policy despite being in the opposition.
Memon said that PPP does not want democracy’s derailment and now it was the responsibility of PM Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri to sit together and resolve the crisis. 
“Unconstitutional dissolution of assemblies is unacceptable, however, PPP would support any change through constitutional and legal ways,” he said.
The minister said that every political party has concerns over rigging allegations in the general elections leveled by Election Commission of Pakistan’s former additional secretary Afzal Khan. Soon after elections, PPP raised a voice against rigging by returning officers in Punjab. 
He said that the Sindh government would not oppose peaceful protests in Karachi for the support of sit-ins in Islamabad as every political party has right to stage peaceful protests for their demands.

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