Grass-roots feedback: Shahbaz booed during Chiniot flood relief visit

Published: November 15, 2014
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In this file photo, Shahbaz Sharif appeals to parents to cooperate with polio workers. PHOTO: APP

In this file photo, Shahbaz Sharif appeals to parents to cooperate with polio workers. PHOTO: APP

FAISALABAD: 

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was booed by dozens of flood-hit families from Bhawana and its adjoining areas when he went there to oversee distribution of relief payments.

The district administration had arranged for a speech by the chief minister at Bhowana High School in Chiniot.

Over 200 people gathered there to hear his speech.

Addressing the audience, the chief minister had said he would not rest until all flood-hit families had been rehabilitated and relief payments had been distributed.

He said the government had rebuilt houses and schools and allocated funds for flood relief.

He said Rs16 billion had been allocated for flood-hit families.

“Such a relief package is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan,” he said.

He said all government machinery was working for rehabilitation of calamity-hit people of the province.

Shahbaz Sharif further said the government was striving to mitigate miseries of masses but some anti-democratic elements were creating hurdles and were aggravating problems of the common man.

He said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s sit-in in the capital was “illogical.”

He said it had created a law and order situation and resulted in cancellation of visits of the Chinese president and other foreigner leaders.

“The protests in Islamabad have caused irreparable loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer,” he said.

“Power projects were delayed due to the protests and Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan are responsible for it,” he added.

After the chief minister finished his address and reached the exit of the school, a large number of residents of Bhowana gathered at the gate and started chanting “Go Nawaz go.”

They also tried to reach the chief minister’s car but it was surrounded by police and security officials of the district administration.

Talking to newsmen, Raheem Bux, one of the protesters, said “We visit flood relief centres daily to collect aid promised to us by the government but are turned away over one excuse or the other.” He said apparently revenue officials were misappropriating the relief money

“The chief minister visits flood-hit areas every two days, but these are cosmetic steps taken to hide corruption and inefficiency of government employees,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2014.

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