LAHORE: Federal Minster for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan has demanded immediate meeting of the Punjab cabinet over the issue of floods.
Addressing a press conference at Punjab Governor House on Sunday, he said it was really strange that in three provinces, efforts were underway to save the population from flood, but in the fourth (Punjab), ‘flood politics’ was being played.
He said the population of this province was treated to a similar charade in 1992 when the present ruling party of Punjab was in power.
Commenting over the demand of assistance of Rs25 billion from the federal government by Punjab chief minister, Babar Awan asked where is the money which was earmarked for Punjab in the recent provincial budget.
He stated that a budget of Rs480 billion for Punjab was announced in June, adding that the release of fund started from July 15. He said the problem of flood started in the beginning of August, “then where did that hefty sum of Rs480 billion was spent within 15 days that the Punjab government is now needing Rs25 billion?
About the Birmingham incident, the PPP leader stated he was well aware who was responsible behind the demonstration against the President and who financed it. However, he didn’t name anyone. He said that the shoe-throwing incident was a ‘ghost incident’ as despite availability of such an advanced technology, no footage of this episode came to the surface.
Babar Awan stated that a few media channels even advertised that if footage of this event was available, it must be provided to them.
To another query, he said that criticism on President Asif Zardari for going for a foreign tour wasn’t justified as the Prime Minister was the real executive of state now after the passage of the 18th Amendment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2010.