Over 1,300 children died in Thar in the last 30 months | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Over 1,300 children died in Thar in the last 30 months

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: According to a report of the National Commission on Human Rights, over 1,300 children died in Thar in the last 30 months, said Shahzeb Khanzada on Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ on Thursday.
Hunger and poverty have killed so far 327 children in Thar this year. Shahzeb Khanzada said the Pakistan people’s Party government has been in office in Sindh for the last eight years now, but the problems in Thar, instead of subsiding, have been continuously increasing.

However, the Sindh and federal governments have not done anything concrete to ameliorate the situation in Thar. All that they do is that as soon as the media highlights the situation in Thar, government functionaries pay a visit to Thar where they announce a huge aid programme but do not bother to pursue the matter after having visited the area.

Shahzeb Khanzada said that the Sindh government is primarily responsible for what is transpiring in Thar, but the chief minister has been trying to hold the past governments responsible for the situation. Sometimes, the chief minister misinterprets the causes behind the deaths of children.

Analysing the Pakistan-USA relations, Shahzeb Khanzada said that though there was a friction in the relations between the two countries in the recent past, yet the current response of America shows possibility of an improvement in relations between the two countries. He said that Pakistan-USA relations have a past history, which cannot be ignored. The history of relations between the two countries has some very positive episodes.
The White House has been briefing the Congress about the importance of relations with Pakistan, but the warmth that characterized the relations between the two countries in the past is missing now.

The White House in its policy statement sent to the Congress says that it (the White House) acknowledges the reservations of the members of Congress over the Haqqani Network, but it does not agree with the notion that aid to Pakistan should be stopped on this pretext because such an act would only lead to a deterioration in relations between the two countries.

In a different segment of the programme, Shahzeb Khanzada said that Imran Khan’s contradictions are emerging. Imran Khan has been very critical of the tax amnesty scheme, but now there is a report saying that Imran Khan has benefited from one such scheme. Shahzeb said that according to a news report by Ahmed Noorani published in Jang and The News, Imran Khan concealed his flat from 1983 to 2000. When a tax amnesty scheme was introduced during the government of Pervez Musharraf, Imran Khan declared his London flat in 2001 among the list of his assets.

Imran Khan acknowledges in his income tax returns in 2001 that he was declaring his London flat under the year 2000 tax amnesty scheme. An expert in international relations, Moeed Yousuf, while talking to Shahzeb Khanzada on the programme, said the domestic US politics is not having an impact on Pakistan-USA relations. The importance of Afghanistan in the US Congress is increasing, which is leading to an increase in criticism of Pakistan.

Moeed Yousuf said that the Congress, while rejecting the Indian stance, did not stop the shipment of F-16 aircraft to Pakistan, but it did raise an objection over the supply of funds. The Congress says that if Pakistan’s Afghan policy is not changing, then why is the country being given so much aid. However, the American administration sees Pakistan apart from the Afghanistan issue, and, therefore, its stance is closer to the Government of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, The News correspondent, Ahmed Noorani, while talking to Shahzeb Khanzada on the programme, said that when he had asked Imran Khan while doing a story, he had not acknowledged owning the offshore company, Niazi Services Limited. He had only said that the company had only owned the flat which he had declared. Noorani said that Imran Khan had declared his flat under the whitening of black money scheme. He has acknowledged that his financial company did make transactions without the flat.

Noorani said that Imran Khan kept all his matters secret, and even now he is not willing to divulge the details. expert in tax affairs, Shabbar Zaidi, said on the programme that if someone derives benefit from a tax amnesty scheme that means that the person evaded paying taxes. Under the year 2000 tax amnesty scheme, one can whiten undeclared money just by paying 11 percent tax. If someone has revealed assets under this scheme, then it means that one was supposed to have paid taxes for this income but the income was not revealed after which it was whitened legally in Pakistan under the year 2000 scheme, and it was not white before that.

The News