KARACHI: The Sindh information minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon, has refuted the allegations by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara, saying Benazir Bhutto had not allocated funds for Kalabagh Dam and even joined a memorable protest against the project.
A day earlier, Pir Pagara at a press conference with opposition and nationalists parties had criticised the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its leaders for always betraying the people of Sindh. He alleged that even Kalabagh Dam – considered against the interests of Sindh – was envisaged by the PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and its budget was allocated by his daughter Benazir Bhutto in 1989.
On Tuesday, however, Memon issued a press statement in response to the PML-F leader’s claims, asserting that Benazir Bhutto had been quite vocal against the megaproject and her stand against the dam could be measured from the demonstration she had staged at Kamoon Shaheed Bridge at the border of Sindh and Punjab.
“We respect Pir Sahib Pagara from the core of our heart, as not only he is a spiritual leader but a seasoned politician,” the minister said. “We want to continue with political reconciliation policy and want the PML-F to become a part of the government again, but certain members of the party are trying to create misunderstandings.”
Memon also accused the Pir Pagara-led party of starting off the ruckus during the last Sindh Assembly session.
“No doubt everyone has the right to protest but one should be careful about rules and procedures [of the house] and respect each others’ leaders.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2012.