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Blame game on over Karachi deaths

Posted in S. Asia


Blame game on over Karachi deaths

Published on June 26, 2015 with No Comments

A heat wave has killed nearly 800 people in Karachi and piled pressure on a beleaguered provincial government, as rivals blame it for severe blackouts and crumbling public services that have added to the woe.Some reports said that over 1,200 people have died in Pakistan’s Sindh province because of the heatwave, described as the worst in decades.The powerful military, which heavily criticised the government for corruption last week, is winning praise after it set up 22 health centres to distribute aid.
Perturbed over the rising number of heat-related deaths in Karachi amidst persistent power outages, the parliamentarians in Pakistan’s National Assembly (NA) resorted to each other’s bashing with the opposition “shaming” the government for “lacking honour”.
During the assembly’s session NA opposition leader Khursheed Shah lashed out at the federal government for power cuts across the country as the death toll from the heatwave reached a staggering 830 in four days.
In an emotional speech centered on the overwhelming loss of lives in Karachi, which he linked with power cuts, Shah took the floor after Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif had furnished the House with details of power supply and shortages across the country and percentage of recoveries made by various supply companies.
“For God’s sake! The government should stop talking about calculations and talk about saving lives,” Shah thundered. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said there won’t be any load shedding in Ramzan.”
In defence of the beleaguered Sindh government, Shah hit out at the federal government for not delivering on its promise to end the power crisis. “The government made promises to end load shedding in three months, then six months, then one year and now two years – you are now saying 2018,” he grilled the government, calling it to admit its failure.
Shah’s emotions ran high as he shared a death toll of 1,200 from across Sindh. “This is not a time for politics. I am in pain today. People are dying and there is no water to wash corpses…. And you are blaming the Sindh government?” Shah said, adding that the centre should take over K-Electric and that Qaim Ali Shah’s government would support the move.
“Thousands are dying in Karachi. This is not K-Electric’s problem; this is Pakistan’s problem.”
Shah’s speech was directed at Khawaja Asif, who had taken his seat after saying in an earlier speech that the power crisis in Sindh was not the federal government’s responsibility.


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