Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who visited Tharparkar on Sunday to take stock of the drought situation, left without announcing any reassuring relief measures for the region.
Unlike his last visit in March this year, he failed to make any promises this time about improving health services, providing nutritional support to pregnant women and children or providing any relief goods beyond 50 kilogrammes of wheat for each family per month.
While 250,000 families from the desert region are expected to benefit from the wheat provision, the distribution process earlier this year raised many questions about transparency. However, while addressing a public meeting in Nangarparkar tehsil, he promised to make the relief distribution process more transparent, adding that negligent officials would be punished.
Shah also said that several development projects were under way to uplift the lives of Tharparkar residents, but did not elaborate on the specific projects or how they would help the people. Instead, much of his speech focused on the country's prevailing political situation and placing blame on political rivals. "[Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief] Imran Khan has said nothing about the plight or Tharis," he accused. "He does not feel anything for them."
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.
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