Political parties conspicuous by absence


Nauman Tasleem August 02, 2010

LAHORE: All major political parties have not yet established any relief camps in the city for the millions affected by the current floods.

Only the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) established eight camps in the city, including Ichhra and Shadman, on Sunday. Other major parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PML-Q were conspicuous by their failure in setting up relief camps.

Residents of Lahore called the politician’s ‘lack of interest’ surprising. “After the 2005 earthquake many relief centres were set up throughout the city by political parties- including the PPP and PML-N, who were not in government. This year, they are just doing politics over the dead,” said a banker Saeed Ather.

Even though the prime minister, during his visit to the city, appealed that people come forward to help the flood victims, the provincial party leadership seems to be confused about what action to take.

When asked about PPP relief camps, the PPP Punjab Information Secretary Fakharud Din Chaudhry told The Express Tribune said that no such camps have been established yet. “On Tuesday (today) we will have a party meeting during which we will take a decision regarding the issue,” he said.

Jamat-e-Islami’s central leader Liaqat Baloch, while talking to this correspondent, said, “We are providing relief goods without setting up any camps.”

The prices of eatables have risen sharply in the flood-hit areas and the victims are in dire need of food. A 20-kg bag of flour is being sold for Rs1, 400 in some of the flood-hit areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2010.

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