KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that people are attending Imran Khan’s rallies because he is a great entertainer and teaches them new definitions of science, and geography, religion, and phenology.

“He says that a training equivalent to the speed of light is being invented, he says that Germany and Japan have joint borders, he says Allah doesn’t allow people to be neutral and he also says Pakistan has 12 seasons,” he quoted some excerpts from PTI chief’s speeches and went on saying people have no place to be entertained humorously other than his (PTI) rallies.

This he said while talking to media at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) where he launched a weeklong province-wide polio campaign. Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Aziz Memon, Secretary Health Zulfiqar Shah, Commissioner Karachi Iqbal Memon, and others were present on the occasion.

The CM said that the musical shows, theaters, and movies attract people in large numbers but it didn’t mean that they would choose a “dholak player’ as a ruler.

To a question, Murad Ali Shah said he (Imran Khan) held an ‘Azadi rally’ at Lahore and announced that he was working for the independence of Pakistan. “This shows that Imran Khan is the state of denial of the struggle of the father of nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who got us independence 75 years ago,” he said and added he (Imran Khan) might be in the state of slavery but we, as a nation are independent.

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that Rs1 billion for the repair of roads in the city has been approved by the provincial cabinet. “We are trying to arrange Rs10 billion for the reconstruction of roads and drainage systems damaged by heavy rains and for the welfare of the rain-affected people,” he said.

To a question, Murad Ali Shah said that his party has a long history to struggle for freedom of press and speech. “But, no media house in the country raised voice when the recorded interview of Asif Ali Zardari was not allowed to be aired,” he said and added everyone has to respect law of the land and the constitution.

Polio drive launched

Mr Shah said he has launched a province-wide polio campaign starting from 15th August to 21st August 2022, in Karachi and Hyderabad. He added that from 22nd August to 28th August the campaign would be started in the remaining districts of Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and Larkana divisions.

The CM said that under the campaign oral polio drops would be given to over 9.9 million children under 5 years. “In the drive, 33,982 teams along with 9,137 supervisors will be participating across the province,” he said and added 3,556 partners staff from the different organisations would be deployed for supportive supervision and monitoring.

According to Mr Shah, out of the target of over 9.9 million children, more than 2.4 million children live in Karachi. “Pakistan has reported 14 polio cases in April 2022, and all of them belong to South KP recently 7 positive environmental samples have also been detected in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawer, Sawat, Bannu, and Noshera,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah termed it a great achievement for his government and Emergency Operation Centre, Sindh (EOC) that all the environmental samples from our province have been negative. “Sindh has not reported any polio case since July 2020 and has had continuous negative environment samples for the past one year,” he said and disclosed that after the report of the first case (April 2022) from North Waziristan EOC Sindh has increased vigilance at entry and exit points at the borders with other provinces and vaccinated 571,566 children of them 13,088 belong to South KP district.

Mr Shah said that if we continued with the same momentum and spirit, we would further see significant results but we must not get complacent and continue the hard work. “Children can be protected from childhood crippling diseases like polio through vaccination and we seek every stakeholder’s help to raise awareness for the purpose,” he said and added the efforts in the programme have resulted in around 50 percent reduction in refusals and missed children but we must bring them down further, especially in Karachi.

The CM said that Pakistan was one of the two polio-endemic countries in the world along with Afghanistan. “Remember, polio has no cure but can be easily prevented through vaccination and we are sending workers to your doorsteps, and I am sure people would cooperate with them and help save the future of Pakistan and eradicate polio,” he urged people of the province.