KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah denied having any links with Yousuf alias Thelaywala, who is accused of being involved in the killings of 96 people while speaking to the media at the National Institute of Management (NIM) on Thursday. The CM was addressing the media after presiding over the graduation ceremony of the 27th Mid-Career Management Course at NIMS.
Talking to the media, he said, "Neither do I know any Yousuf Thelaywala, nor have I met any person of that name. But the accused has been spoon-fed to take my name as part of a planned conspiracy."
He expressed surprise over "attempts to link his name with that of a mass-murderer" and said that the attempt is bound to fail as it is unfounded and based on mala fide intentions.
The CM said that he directed Sindh Police IG Kaleem Imam and Karachi Additional IG Ghulam Nabi Memon to conduct an inquiry and trace the perpetrator of the "conspiracy", during a meeting with them on Thursday morning.
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"I have also asked them to investigate as to how selected reporters were allowed to record the arrested target killer's statement, in which he mentions my name, on their mobile phones," said the CM, stressing that the officials had not referred to any incident of Yousuf meeting him during the press conference held on Thursday, following the accused's arrest.
He said that the accused claims that he met him after he was arrested by the Rangers in 2017 but before reaching any conclusion, people should let the inquiry take its course.
Fake number plate
Responding to a question pertaining to the viral video of a car bearing a fake number plate and being escorted by a police mobile, the CM said that he had ordered the excise and taxation minister to trace the owner of the vehicle. "He told me that the car belongs to the Governor's House," he added. Though police have registered an FIR of the incident, it is not registered against the governor, Shah said, adding that "when I became the chief minister, I ensured that all vehicles belonging to the CM House are registered with the Excise and Taxation Department and I will request the governor to do the same."
To another question about the proposed cabinet reshuffle, Shah replied, "cabinet is reshuffled in consultation with the party leadership and we will take the step when we feel it is needed." However, media playing the guessing game is not right, he added.
Address at NIMS
Earlier, addressing the graduation ceremony at NIMS, the CM said that the country is facing serious challenges, including those pertaining to economics and governance. He held the inefficiency of the bureaucracy responsible for most of the difficulties faced by the country today and said, "officers who used to take bold initiatives now prefer to get side-postings."
"We need to identify the reasons behind the officer's reluctance to perform," the CM stressed.
Shah further elaborated that the "officer's reluctance to perform" cannot be termed "as their incompetence," and there are multiple reasons behind their lax attitude, which the government needs to address. He said government officers are not paid well and their salaries need to be increased.
The CM said that Quaid-e-Azam had urged the government officers back in 1947 to ensure that law and order is maintained and the country remains corruption free. "Whereas today, Pakistan ranks 180 in the crime index, while Bangladesh, which was carved out of Pakistan, ranks 147," he lamented.
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He urged the recent graduates to "work with dedication and devotion, without any fear." The development of this country, as an honest and hardworking nation, lies in the hands of the bureaucracy, he said.
At the end of the ceremony, the CM distributed certificates among the graduates.
Director General of NIM's Karachi chapter, Mohsin Mushtaq Chandna, also spoke on the occasion.
Kiran Sitara Conference
Addressing the audience at another event, the Kiran Sitara Conference at PAF Museum, Shah said that whenever females have been given opportunities, they have performed better than their male counterparts. He encouraged women to work towards excelling in every field and said, "I see Benazir Bhutto in every female student present at the conference."
Addressing the problem of widespread health issues in Sindh, he said that the government plans to take initiatives to fight and control diseases and medical conditions like hepatitis, tuberculosis and stunting. He said that the health department has administered 18,000 injections of typhoid vaccines over the last two days and it aims to administer as many as 20 million in total.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2019.