Social media users are criticising the new PML-N government for allegedly targetting the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) as it sets out to establish its governance. Regarding this, a video of workers removing banners of SKMH is going viral on social media.
To clarify, former prime minister Imran Khan owns SKMH which provides cancer treatment to its patients free of charge. Furthermore, the inspiration to build the Hospital came after his mother, Mrs. Shaukat Khanum, succumbed to cancer in 1985.
Now with Shehbaz Sharif as the new prime minister, netizens believe he is undoing social-welfare initiatives introduced by PTI. The video in question, widely circulating on social media, shows workers pulling down posters advertising SKMH. Important to note, the workers were on a truck belonging to Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB).
While sharing the video, former SAPM on Political Communication Dr. Shahbaz Gill heavily lambasted Shehbaz Sharif.
“Shehbaz Sharif himself is a cancer survivor and Nawaz Sharif’s wife died of cancer. Just look at their apathy and brutality. They cannot even tolerate the banners of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital which is the last hope of poor cancer patients,” Dr. Shahbaz Gill tweeted.
شہباز شریف خود کینسر سروائیور ہیں اور نواز شریف کی اہلیہ کینسر کے موذی مرض میں مبتلا ہو کر فوت ہوئیں
انکی بے حسی اور سفاکیت کا اندازہ لگائیں غریب کینسر کے مریضوں کی آخری امید شوکت خانم کینسر ہسپتال کے بینرز تک برداشت نہیں pic.twitter.com/t8SZetD5jP
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) April 12, 2022
Similarly, other Twitter users also joined in and criticized the new PML-N government. Important to note, majority of the public has not taken kindly to PML-N coming into power. Ever since Shehbaz Sharif became the prime minister, the public has protested against him.
“These low lives are removing posters for Shaukat Khanum Hospital. What a disgrace this government is. A cancer hospital serving the poor is being attacked,” tweeted Mir Mohammad Ali Khan.
These low lives are removing posters for Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
— Mir Mohammad Alikhan (@MirMAKOfficial) April 13, 2022
Not a political motive?
On the other hand, it seems as if the RCB took notice of the criticism. A Twitter account belonging to the RCB CEO responded to the backlash and clarified the issue. Moreover, RCB rejected any political motive behind the move.
“Rawalpindi Cantonment Board is a responsible government body. Shaukat Khanum Hospital’s banners were allowed to be displayed free of cost from March 26 to April 08 due to welfare work, at the end of which the banners were taken down. This government process should not be linked to any political motive,” RCB tweeted.
راولپنڈی کنٹونمنٹ بورڈ ایک ذمہ دار سرکاری ادارہ ہے۔ شوکت خانم ہسپتال کے بینرز بلا معاوضہ لگانے کی اجازت مورخہ 26 مارچ تا 08 اپریل فلاحی کام ہونے کی وجہ سے دی گئی تھی جس کی مدت کے خاتمہ پر بینرز اتارے گئے۔ اس سرکاری عمل کو کسی سیاسی مقصد سے منسلک نہ کیا جائے۔
— Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (@CEORawalpindi) April 13, 2022
Pertinent to mention, PML-N has accused PTI Chairman Imran Khan of misappropriation and money-laundering in the funds of SKMT. For instance, PML-N leader Khawaja Asif claimed that Imran Khan transferred the money of SKMT abroad. However, Imran Khan had then submitted an affidavit terming all allegations leveled against him as “false and defamatory.”