To be heard, flood survivors protest in Karachi | Pakistan Today

To be heard, flood survivors protest in Karachi

A large number of flood survivors from eight districts of Sindh staged a rally outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) against the PPP-led government for not supporting the people of its home province.
For the demonstration against Sindh government, the Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) and People’s Accountability Commission had arranged transport for the people to travel to Karachi and pressurise the government to issue the second financial instalment under the Watan Card scheme.
During the rally, the protesters shouted slogans against the provincial and federal governments, saying that the apathetic attitude of the government has left thousands of people without shelter.
The protesters also raised slogans against President Asif Ali Zardari that despite his several assurances, the Sindh government has still not drained out the rainwater from the rain-affected districts during the past seven months.
The rally started from the Zainab Market and culminated at KPC.
The demonstrators were of the view that the provincial government has not responded to the president’s clear directives, which he had issued during videos conferences with officials concerned, forcing the flood-affected people to live in open courtyards surrounded by rainwater.
Talking to the media, the flood survivors alleged that Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and his cabinet members have made false claims to readdress post-rain issues and despite clear directives of the president, they did nothing.
“Thousands of people in the flood-hit areas were deprived of the first financial instalment under the Watan Card and there is no sign from the government to disburse the second tranche, so that they can resume their normal life after the natural calamity,” they said. “It means the government is not serious in the rehabilitation of the flood-hit areas, even the when majority of the PPP assembly members were elected by the same people.”
The flood survivors claimed that more than 13,600 monsoon flood victims were deliberately kept out of the process to get the first payment under Watan Card while 5,300 people who got the cards were unable to get their cards activated by the authorities concerned.
They stated that still around 200,000 farmers could not cultivate the crops of Rabi season and it is feared that if the district administrations concerned do not take appropriate measure to drain out the stagnant rainwater, the farmers may not be able to cultivate the Kharif season crops also.
Demanding that the president and prime minister intervene into the matter to help the flood survivors get their cards on emergency basis, the protested called on Zardari to reissue directives to Sindh chief minister to eliminate encroachments from natural waterways so that rainwater could be drained out from the farmlands.

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