Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan lashed out at the Sindh government’s failure to rehabilitate Gujjar Nullah affectees. The backlash came after the province’s advocate general informed the apex court it does not have enough funds.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the Gujjar Nullah residents who requested the formation of a larger bench to hear the anti-encroachment case. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmad heard the case.
Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin appeared on behalf of the provincial government and informed the court of the Sindh government’s “extreme financial crisis.” He also claimed that the federal government did not release funds that were to be given to the province.
“The federal government still has Rs20bn [that it had to release to the Sindh government],” said Talibuddin.
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At the excuse of lack of funds, CJP lost patience and scolded the advocate. The apex court also expressed anger at the Sindh government’s failure to allocate Rs10 billion out of a budget of trillions.
“You have done nothing in the province,” CJP lashed out. He further elaborated on the dire situation of Karachi.
A city of garbage?
CJP lamented that the Sindh government turned Karachi into a city of garbage. Moreover, a little rain has the potential to drown the whole city with nullahs over-flowing.
Dumper Association strike, garbage piles started in Karachi https://t.co/oaTvbNoFeU
— IG News (@IrshadGulNews) September 15, 2021
He said the provincial government got billions in foreign aid, but ‘we do not know what becomes of this money’.
“It’s shameful that roads are broken, children are dying of hunger and nobody bothers,” the CJP remarked. He called upon the provincial government to set aside their political differences and work for the people’s welfare.
The apex court then ordered the Sindh government to arrange for the resettlement of the Gujjar Nullah, Orangi Nullah, and Mehmood Abad affectees within a year.
It also directly asked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to ensure the implementation of the court order.
Sindh government under fire
This is not the first time accusations of “incompetence” are being leveled at the Sindh government. The PPP-led government frequently faces severe criticisms.
Recently, the Sindh government came under fire for failing to complete the construction of the Orange Line project.
Inaugurated in 2016, the Orange Line, also known as Abdul Sattar Edhi Line, will cover a distance of 3.4 km from the Board Office to Gulshan-e-Zia. However, construction is still not complete. In fact, the project is in various stages of decay.
Moreover, lack of safe drinking water and health facilities are some of the problems still facing Sindh despite PPP’s 13 years of governance.