Bilawal says centre showing indifference towards provinces


KARACHI: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday said the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government was showing indifference towards the provinces during the coronavirus crisis.

In an interview with the BBC, the PPP boss said that the PTI-led federal government, rather than working alongside its provincial counterparts, was attempting to “sabotage the good work done by Sindh”.

He added that the Centre could not remain negligent towards its duty towards the provinces in light of its own interpretation of the constitutional 18th Amendment.

During a crisis, he noted, it was the national leadership’s responsibility to take ownership of matters. He opined that it was the federal government that should formulate the policy to be implemented on a country-wide level but that there was a lapse in leadership this time.

“When the Centre wants to steal hospitals [from] under the government of Sindh, then no one sees the 18th Amendment. But, when there is a global outbreak of a disease and the country is in a state of war, then they bring up the 18th Amendment — which is extremely unfair,” he underlined.

The PPP chair said at such a time, the entire country needed to unite and termed PM Imran’s statements as quite irresponsible. “The sliver of doubt in the policy of [PM Imran] Khan gives an impression that the state of Pakistan is not free.

“Governments across the world are abolishing popular decisions and implementing measures that can benefit their public and secure their health,” he said.

While referring to the premier’s telethon for the Corona Relief Fund, Bilawal said even though the donations were for a worthy cause, the premier needed to comprehend that donations were not a solution to everything.

He lamented that no matter which global organisation lauded the work of the Sindh government, the federal government always had some kind of criticism in store.

Bilawal said the Senate chairperson and speaker should decided whether a virtual or in-person session of the National Assembly could be summoned to discuss pertinent national issues and relevant legislation.

Earlier today, The News had reported quoting sources that the federal government had contacted several political parties for key changes in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and the 18th Amendment. 

Some political parties had assured support to the Centre for the changes, sources had informed the publication.

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