Pb Govt not spared even Rs480 out of Rs480b budget for affectees: Babar
RE - Federal Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Babar Awan Tuesday said that relief operation in Punjab was going on without any planning, and those occupying Lahore Throne had not spared even Rs 480 for the natural calamities out of Rs 480 billion Punjab budget.
Addressing a news conference at Governors House, the federal minister lamented that Punjab was the only unfortunate province where rehabilitation of flood victims could not be started with proper planning. The towns in south Punjab, he added, have turned into small islands as a result of heavy flooding, but Punjab rulers were playing politics over the ensuing destruction. He alleged that no aid had reached in majority of the affected areas in Punjab.
The PPPs Lahore President, Ch Asghar Gujjar and Zekria Butt were also present on the occasion.
Reiterating his point about calling a meeting of the Punjab cabinet to discuss flood situation, the law minister asked if any court had granted stay order against convening of the meeting?
Dr.Awan alleged that all concerned in Punjab had been deputed to play politics on floods with a view to concealing their failures. The minister asked media men to investigate why the houses of thousands of people were drowned to save whose farmhouse. The people also have the right to know which personality recently purchased a sugar mill near Jhang, and also visited his factory, but did not bother to solace the flood-stricken people of 18-Hazari in the nearby locality, he further said.
Mr Awan asserted that entire focus of the politicians and the government machinery should be on the relief operation, but unfortunately, people were criticising the president instead of the dictators who damaged this country. He believed that a conspiracy had been hatched to portray President Zardaris foreign visit a diplomatic failure, but the conspirators did not succeed in their plan.
Replying to a question, he said PPP was not against free media, but one should verify the facts before levelling allegations. He said PPP had nothing to do with internal strife of cable operators. For the first time in countrys history, the PPP has given constitutional status to law pertaining to freedom of expression and access to information, he affirmed.
Stressing the need for balanced reporting, and without naming PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, the PPP minister said that Hazara was all protest since Monday, but media was focussing on an incident for the last one week, which did not happen at all.
Again, without naming Ch Nisar Ali Khan, he said that a friend of mine had commented on his past, but he wanted to tell him that I was proud of not owning any sugar mill. Similarly, neither did I seek loan from any bank, nor I had been member of any cabinet headed by a Marshal Law administrator; and no dictator ever prayed for my leader that may God Almighty add his life to him.
He asked Nawaz Sharif to step into practical politics so that he is out of the ring of around a dozen candidates of prime ministership.
To a question, he said that doors of PPP were open if Mian brothers wanted to discuss any thing about the floods.
He was of the view that had the local polls been held at the right time, the issue of rehabilitation of flood affectees could have been tackled more effectively.
He also appealed to the world community, especially the Islamic world to come forward and help Pakistan.