Divert energies to rescue and rehabilitation
KP finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra had made it known that his government might not be able to fulfill the obligations related to IMF deal. Coming just three days before the IMF’s make-or-break meeting, the move was being interpreted by some as an attempt to sabotage Pakistan’s deal with the Fund. Coming after remarks from former federal ministerFawad Chaudhry maintaining that PTI governments in Punjab and KP may not endorse the IMF deal if there was no agreement on fresh elections, the position taken by Mr Jhagra looks like an attempt by the PTI to foil the federal government’s efforts to seek the Fund’s help. Miftah Ismail has termed the attempt a conspiracy to derail the IMF programme and sink the rupee.
Taimur Jhagra maintains that the federal government had failed to fulfil agreements brokered with the KP government, which included payment of Rs 100 billion for important projects. If true, this would be condemnable as the disaster confronting the country requires that the federal and provincial governments develop good working relations. But even if the KP government’s claim was correct, there was a need to settle the differences through talks rather than going public on them while refusing to fulfill solemn undertakings.
As time passes the gravity of the rains-cum-floods disaster becomes more evident. While the natural calamity is still wreaking havoc in Balochistan and Sindh, South Punjab and KP are going through the nightmarish ordeal now. After witnessing the situation in Balochistan, PM Shehbaz Sharif is currently in Sindh where he has announced the distribution of Rs28 billion among the victims. The funds have reportedly been handed over to BISP. Keeping in view the destruction of entire towns and villages, with big cities facing damages caused by flooding, power crisis, and hardships caused by lost working hours, this remains is a meagre amount incommensurate with the challenges posed by the disaster.
PTI chief Imran Khan too has finally visited DI Khan and Tank. He has found that the level of destruction in KP was massive. He has yet to visit Swat, Hazara, the tribal areas and South Punjab. One hopes he will realize the need to raise funds and to oversee the rehabilitation of the displaced instead of holding political rallies. There is a greater obligation on the part of all parties to put political activities on the backburner and devote their energies to mitigate the suffering caused by the great disaster.
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