Saturday, August 28

Centre warned against bypassing provinces

PML-N Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has demanded of the federal government to ensure a minimum amount of Rs 100,000 as financial assistance to every flood-affected family before Eidul Fitr in order to facilitate them to buy necessities of life.
He also urged the Centre to pay 50 per cent of its share of financial assistance to the provinces so that this amount could also be provided to the flood victims without any further delay since the provinces had already agreed to pay Rs20,000 to each family for which the amount of Rs 10,000 was supposed to be paid by the Centre.
He made these demands while addressing a Press conference here at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here on Friday. Besides Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, central party leaders including Ch Nisar Ali and Senator Ishaq Dar were also present.
Nawaz said this was not the time for point-scoring, otherwise, his party also had the open field to criticise the PPP-led government. ‘This is the time to come forward to help the flood victims by forgetting all the political differences,’ he added.
Referring to the comments about photo sessions, he said these remarks made no difference as the PML-N was just giving priority to the relief and rehabilitation. ‘For the rest of the life, everyone will be available for politics and point-scoring, but this time the help to flood victims should be the priority,’ he added.
Nawaz said for the first time, the Opposition had offered its cooperation to the government for making joint efforts to help flood affectees. ‘I requested the Prime Minister for a meeting, but later the government refused to honour the decisions made especially about the formation of a commission,’ he alleged, while pointing out that he had asked the Premier for requesting the Army to cut its expenditure so that maximum help could be ensured to the flood victims.
‘The Opposition also asked for the government to cut its expenses, but the latter has not actualised the suggestion so far’, he said.
He was of the view that the world was not satisfied over the performance of the government since transparency was the problem and the credibility of the government was not up to the mark.
‘A large number of corruption cases are still pending with the national and international courts; so how foreign countries could trust such rulers’, he asked.
Nawaz maintained that he had come to know that the government was planning to deal with the flood-affected families while bypassing the provincial governments, especially where the PPP was not holding the fort.
‘The provinces should do their job and the Centre should not interfere in it, but bypassing the provinces will not bear good results,’ he said, urging upon the Centre to mend its ways in this regard.
Nawaz said he would like to ask Altaf Hussain that for what purpose he needed martial law. ‘Musharraf-led regime had already gifted unemployment, price hike, power crisis, judicial crisis, missing persons and even terrorism. So what else Altaf wants from martial law,’ he added.
Nawaz said there was a difference between democracy and a government’s failure. ‘One should understand that the failure of the government can never be declared as the failure of the democracy,’ he added.
He said reputation of the present rulers was really an issue as the foreign donors wanted transparency and which was why the donors were little hesitant in materialising any commitment. ‘I just wanted to give the message to the world that the Opposition and Treasury are working together to dispel such impression,’ he added.
Responding to another question, Nawaz underscored the need for forming a judicial commission to probe the matter that who played with the innocent lives to save the lands, and those found guilty should be awarded exemplary punishment so that nobody else could dare do so in future.
To yet another question about MQM, Nawaz said MQM was enjoying fruits of power by sitting in the government, but its leader was always trying to twist the facts. ‘The MQM is the part of the govt that increases fuel price, but its chief condemned the hike. Who the MQM is making a fool?’ he said.
On this occasion, Shahbaz said that the Centre had promised to pay 50 per cent financial assistance to each flood-hit family and in this regard the amount of Rs 20,000 was decided with mutual understanding, while the provinces had to bear the rest of the 50 per cent.
He asked the government to play its responsible role to ensure normal life for all the flood-affected families.
When the CM was asked about his future plan if the Centre did not heed to their demands, he said: ‘PML-N will take up the issue in the Council of Common Interests and this time the Centre will have to honour its words,’ he added.
Replying to a question about the Sialkot tragedy, Shahbaz said all the persons responsible for the barbarity had been arrested and soon they would be shown on television so that the people could also see their faces.

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