‘Not a single person died in Thar because of drought’


KARACHI: Chief Minster Sindh Qaim Ali Shah informed Sindh Assembly on Tuesday Pakistan People Party (PPP) believe in wisdom of people and we have come to the assembly through people’s vote not from the backdoors.
In his speech Qaim Ali Shah said Tharparkar was not only important for Sindh but also for Pakistan, therefore how could we forget or ignore Tharparkar.
The chief minister was of the view there were no deaths because of famine. “Let me tell you not a single person died because of drought. If there was drought related deaths people aging over 10 years would have died too,’ he added.
CM said for the last six years we were serving the people of Thar. For the last 40 to 50 years PPP never won seat from Tharparkar. However in last elections we won seats from Thar because we had served the people. Population of Tharparkar is 1.6 million and is scattered.
Chief minister said wheat was provided however on delay, he admitted it was transportation problem. He said inquiry was being held for those who were responsible in this regard. Sanaullah Abbasi was assigned to inquire the matter. He assured no slackness, incompetence happened on level of government’s level. 
Government declared calamity in Tharparkar in November 2013. He said 259,000 families were being provided free food. Within a week time rest of people would be provided food too.
He told the house he took prompt action and announced Rs 200,000 for each family who lost their child. He said most of children’s deaths were because of severe cold.
He said pregnant women preferred midwives for deliveries at home. “Women in Tharparkar avoid going to lady doctors. Gynaecology staff was available but women were not prepared to go to them. “I ask you if the lady does not go to the doctor, how can infant survive,”.
Sindh Information Minster Sharjeel Memon said Tharparkar was facing natural disaster. He told the house, “I respect the media as it has struggled against the dictatorship but in Tharparkar’s case media overplayed on the issue of while he said, “I could quote hundreds example in this regard”. 
He retreated Sindh government yet to receive a single rupee from the aid package Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced. Yesterday when I gave statement in this regard, a statement was released from federal government Rs 500 million has been released. But I once again inform you not a single rupee has been received, said Memon.
Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) MPA and leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly Faisal Sabzwari said nobody wanted to do politics on the issue of Tharparkar and neither no one was involved in this particular issue.
We have heard from chief minister Sindh that there was negligence from some quarters in this connection. All we wanted was to know who was involved in the negligence and what action has been taken in this regard, he asked.
MPA said he himself visited the Tharparkar. The situation in Tharparkar is even worse than government is describing. He said we would support every initiative of the government regarding to the help of Tharis, but there should be some sort of policy. Faisal asked why the wheat could not be distributed and why was question raised regarding the governance. Those officers of health department and doctors posted in the area should also be questioned. Leader of the opposition welcomed the work on Thar Coal but said he has been informed local Bheel community was being denied in jobs in the project. They are even not being offered jobs of Tappaydar.
Parliamentary leader of MQM in Sindh Assembly Sardar Ahmed said it was being said there was a conspiracy against Sindh government, “but I think it was not right to say”. He questioned why this situation aroused to this extent. The reason behind the mishaps should be found.
Sardar said bureaucracy did not fulfil its duty. “Even today there was not proper monitoring even though relief goods were reaching in the area in sufficient amount,” added Sardar.
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz MPA Irfan Marwat said it was opposition’s right to raise the questions and government was supposed to answer. However he assured there would be no point scoring on the issue. He said it was being said that situation in Thar was not worse. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Hafizuddin said his party got highest number of votes from Thar after PPP in last elections. According to him Tharparkar is facing two main issues. First, the supply of water and second the non-availability of staff in hospitals. MPA Syed Aijaz Shah Shirazi said people of Tharparkar and Thatta were facing same circumstances. “Keenjhar Lake is being supplied sewerage water through Kalri Baghar (KB) feeder and Sijawal. There was no rain in the Kohistan,” he added. During his speech, he was interrupted several times by treasury benches to focus his speech on Tharparkar issue.
Pakistan Muslim League Functional MPA Nand Kumar said if government was responsible then House should be told who was behind on Thar issue. He said main problem of Tharparkar was shortage of water. “Constructing a lake could solve ninety percent problems of Tharparkar,” Nand added. Later Sindh Assembly speaker adjourned the house till Friday morning.

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