Internal Affairs

Pakistan Peoples Party’s Central Election Cell Incharge, Senator Taj Haider demands from Election Commission of Pakistan to unfreeze all development funds for ongoing development schemes

Karachi, September 03, 2023 (PPI-OT): Honourable Chief Election Commissioner Pakistan, Islamabad

Respected Sir,

Orders of the Honourable Election Commission of Pakistan to freeze Development Funds in the Province of Sindh, including those allocated in the provincial budget for providing flood resistant houses to families devastated in last year’s floods and for solar panels to provide relief to the poorest of the families from hours of load-shedding and exorbitant electricity bills are shocking to say the least.

Secretary and Special Secretary of the ECP are witness to the undersigned that when amendment to Section 230 of the Election Act 2017 was being discussed by the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms and the Honourable members of the committee had unanimously held that the care-takers would not be allowed to block or alter any policies or to stop ongoing development projects, I had expressed deep apprehension that the care-takers may block these two schemes aimed at rehabilitating devastated families.

Little did I suspect that while we were stopping the caretakers, it would be the Honourable ECP itself who would take this illegal, unconstitutional and anti-people step? A technical and financial model based on the concept of reconstruction of Germany after the World War II has been designed and is being implemented for reconstruction of 2 million houses swept away by the torrents in Sindh.

Engineering designs for flood proof pucca houses have been prepared by a leading engineering university. The devastated families are constructing their houses themselves after basic training. Modern Information Technology is being used to release instalments of funds directly to the families without any delay after gathering evidence that the preceding stage of construction had been successfully completed. Ownership of the land and house is given to the homemaker. 50, 000 houses out of the planned 2 million have already been built in a very short span of 3 months.

They are there standing on the ground for anyone to see or check if he/she wants to. The undersigned could hardly hold his tears when a girl hardly 4 years old held him by the hand and took him inside her house to show this ‘grandfather’ what a beautiful house she had built. The tragedy of our social system is that those who construct houses are not allowed even to enter the houses they have built once a house is completed. How on earth, Respected Sir, can we deprive small children the joy of living in and proudly showing us the house they have built with their tiny hands?

Our bazars are shut. Electricity bills are being burnt. People are out on the streets. Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, whose Urs Mubarak is being celebrated these days has used a phrase “Everyone in the country has become a Mansoor” in his immortal poetry. Such is the condition resulting from our mistaken policies that we see around us these days.

Respected Sir, inmates of 200, 000 houses that have remained in darkness for generations have been provided solar panels so that they too can benefit from one of the so many bounties of Allah which none of us can deny. The budgeted target is to put solar panels on 2.1 million houses. The whole country should be going in this direction. Shall we reverse this direction and push our people back into century’s old darkness? Certainly not Sir. The most marginalized of our people, living in the remotest and most backward areas of our country deserve electricity as a fundamental right and this is what the Pakistan People’s Party is endeavouring to ensure.

Legality or illegality aside there is also a human side to development issues, especially those issues that are oriented towards providing relief to the wretched of the earth. This perhaps should remain our prime concern. May I most respectfully request you to kindly order that all development funds for ongoing development schemes may be immediately unfreeze.

Thanks and regards;

Yours sincerely.

For more information, contact:

PPP Media Cell (Sindh)

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)

Peoples Secretariat Shikarpur Colony,

Behind Mazar-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Karachi, Pakistan

Cell: +92-305-3370383