Chief Minister rejects reports of Hindus' migration as baseless -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Chief Minister rejects reports of Hindus’ migration as baseless

LARKANA: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has rejected reports about Hindus’ migration from Jacobabad to India as baseless and said they have gone to India to visit their holy places and relatives. Talking to journalists in Qambar after presiding over a special meeting of Sindh cabinet on Saturday, Mr Shah said the Hindu families would return home soon and advised media not to make an issue out of it.

He said that devastating flood of 2010 had battered road network in Qambar-Shahdadkot district and work on different schemes for roads worth Rs5.5 billion was in progress in the district.

He said that Rs300 million had been earmarked for other development schemes in the district and announced up-gradation of Qambar Taluka Hospital. The government had spent Rs145 million on providing relief and rehabilitating seven million flood-affected people, he added.

The cabinet meetings, he said, were being held in different districts under directives of President Asif Ali Zaerdari to be able to maximally serve people. Nine cabinet meetings had been held so far, he said.

Answering a question about a Hindu girl of Jacobabad who is said to have embraced Islam and married a Muslim youth, Mr Shah said he had sought report from the IG of Sindh, the DIG of Larkana and the SSP of Jacobabad I this regard and sent two ministers Mukesh Chawla and Mohan Lal to meet the girl’s family and report him.

Provincial ministers Ayaz Soomro, Mir Nadir Ali Magsi, Saifullah Dharejo, Agha Siraj Durrani, Ms Tauqeer Fatima, Abdul Haque Bhurt, Muzaffar Shujrrah and Agha Taimoor Pathan, secretaries of different government departments, MNAs, MPAs and local PPP leaders attended the meeting.

GROWERS: In a separate meeting with the chief minister, growers complained about an acute shortage of water, which had drastically impacted paddy cultivation in Sindh.

Gada Hussain Mahesar, vice-president of the Sindh Abadgar Board, said that growers of Qambar-Shahdadkot district who received water two months late did not know of any rice seed of late sowing variety in the market to sow paddy in September.

Because of the twin problem of water shortage and seeds shortage 35 per cent land had been left unattended in the district, he said.

He disputed Minister for Irrigation Saifullah Dharejo’s claim that there was overall shortage of water in the country and said that Punjab normally cultivated paddy on 5.5 million acres but it had sown the crop on 6 million acres this year because of increased amount of water available with it.

Under these circumstances, he said, what would be the fate of 1,200 rice mills in Sindh and 80,000 labourers linked with them directly or indirectly.

Ishaque Mugheri, president of the Qambar-Shahdadkot chapter of the SAB, pointed out paucity of water in Khirthar, North Western and Warah canals and said that paddy transplantation season was about to end but growers were yet to receive adequate supply of water to sow the crop.

He said that water crisis had started hitting the district since posting of two chief engineers for right and left bank of Sukkur Barrage. He called for dismantling 100 illegal direct outlets taking water from Khirthar Canal and demanded deployment of Rangers along the canal to stop water theft.

The chief minister formed a three-member committee comprising Sindh Minister for Food Mir Nadir Ali Magsi, Sindh Irrigation Secretary Babar Effendi and a water expert to study the situation and report in 10 days to find out a solution to the problem.

Dawn