HYDERABAD: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the country’s Constitution empowers him to first provide natural gas to Sindh, from where it is extracted, and then share the surplus with other provinces.
It was a mistake to think that the Constitution was weak and those who harboured such thoughts were no less than dictators, he said while talking to journalists at Wahur, his native village in Jamshoro district on Friday after participating in the 10th death anniversary programme of his father and former chief minister, Syed Abdullah Shah.
He said that some ‘pseudo politicians’, parliamentarians and ministers were creating an impression that the chief minister had no courage to stop gas supply to other provinces. “I will advise them to read the Constitution carefully which empowers me to first meet gas needs of Sindh and then share the surplus with other provinces,” he said.
He termed ‘absurd’ a statement of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) about submission of a bank guarantee and said the Sindh government was ready to submit Rs1 billion worth guarantee to the SSGC but for that the company should first sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the provincial government.
As a general rule, first the MoU was signed and then it was implemented, he said and advised the SSGC officials to avoid issuing ‘irresponsible’ statements.
He said that he was working hard to reduce shortfall of power. “Sindh government has established a 100MW power plant in Nooriabad and laid transmission line all the way from the plant to Karachi but the SSGC is reluctant to provide gas (to the plant) on one or the other pretext at the behest of some ministers who oppose steering Pakistan out of darkness,” he said.
“Enough is enough now, we will not allow you to keep playing ping pong with us by passing on the buck to Sindh government,” he said.
About Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif’s visit of Jacobabad, the chief minister said that Nawaz Sharif was prime minister of Pakistan and could visit any part of Sindh. “I, on my part, am inviting him to visit Sehwan and solve peoples’ problems,” he said, adding that PM’s team was trying to fail him because they were not sincere in resolving energy crisis.
Answering a question about IGP A.D. Khowaja, he said the police official was working under the instructions of the Sindh High Court.
He supported the stance taken by the Senate chairman Raza Rabbani who had returned his security squad to the federal government over indifferent attitude of federal ministers. PML-N had never given importance to parliament because the party believed in dictatorship, he said.
Mr Shah said that he had received a summary about extension in Rangers’ powers and he would act on it according to the law.
Earlier, the chief minister, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Senior Minister for Food and Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Minister for Industries Manzoor Wassan, MNA Malik Asad Sikandar and several other PPP leaders paid homage to former chief minister Syed Abdullah Shah.
The chief minister recounted his father’s achievements and service to people and said that his father was the right choice of the then PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto as chief minister and assured that he too would prove himself to be the right choice of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
Mr Shah and other speakers said that no one could doubt Abdullah Shah’s sincerity to the people of Sindh.
Mr Khuhro said that Abdullah Shah had succeeded in protecting the province from terrorism. He was a great politician and would always be remembered for several bold decisions he took in the larger interest of Sindh, he said.
He said that no power on earth could break apart Sindh.
“The Muttahida Qaumi Movement used to talk about Sindh’s division in the past but it has now met its nemesis and faced dismemberment,” he said