–Mushtaq Mehar expected to be notified as IG in place of Kaleem Imam after federal cabinet’s nod today
–Imran directs authorities to expedite work on development projects in Sindh
–Premier urges provinces to follow WHO guidelines to protect themselves from deadly coronavirus
KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday agreed to replace Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Kaleem Imam with Mushtaq Mehar, and promised to address other concerns raised by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah regarding provincial matters.
The matter had been a bone of contention between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government and the Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Sindh government for weeks, with the provincial government earlier recommending Imam’s removal claiming he had failed to perform satisfactorily. The federal government had snubbed the Sindh government, saying Imam would continue to serve as IGP until further notice.
According to reports, PM Imran and CM Murad reached a consensus over Mehar as Imam’s replacement during a meeting at Governor’s House, with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail also backing the decision.
Sources said that a notification in this regard is likely to be issued on Tuesday following a meeting of the federal cabinet.
According to sources, CM Murad also told the prime minister that differences and uncertainty were causing problems. The chief minister also put forward reservations and decisions of the provincial cabinet.
The chief minister told the premier that some of the important projects of the province were pending before the Planning and Development Ministry, adding that some of the ongoing projects of the federal government in Karachi were also moving at a slow pace. At this, the premier directed Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar to expedite the process of the Sindh government’s schemes. He also assured the chief minister that the federal government’s projects would be completed at the earliest.
CM Murad also raised the issue of a swarm of locusts that wreaked havoc on crops in the country, particularly in Sindh. He said that it was high time to destroy them in the desert area where they have settled for breeding. PM Imran said that he will direct the Plant Protection Department to take necessary measures and start aerial spray in the desert areas. The CM proposed that Pakistan should hire aircraft from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for timely action, and on this, the PM directed the concerned department to take immediate measures.
The two also discussed increasing polio cases after the premier expressed serious reservations over the issue. The chief minister said that the virus was not only crippling the children of Pakistan but it would also ultimately isolate the country from the international community. “We have taken drastic measures in Sindh to control the virus but due to frequent travels to and from Afghanistan, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the virus emerges again and again,” he said, adding that there was a need to change the strategy to eradicate polio. The prime minister said that he would call a meeting of the National Polio Eradication Taskforce to devise another strategy.
They also discussed the emergence of deadly coronavirus in China. The CM pointed out that a similar case had been detected in Multan and there was a high possibility that it might spread in Pakistan since a number of Chinese citizens work in the country.
“The Chinese are engaged in Thar and Karachi, therefore, it is necessary to issue a travel advisory for them and the people of Pakistan,” he added.
The PM directed the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, to develop a testing mechanism and directed all provinces to follow the precautionary guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO). He also said that the Chinese citizens working in Pakistan should also be guided accordingly.
While discussing the recent wheat flour crisis, the prime minister said that he would soon call a meeting on the matter. The chief minister said that the new wheat crop would be harvested in March, therefore, the government must make necessary arrangements to meet the wheat flour requirement until then.
IMRAN MEETS PAGARA:
Prime Minister Imran also met Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi at the Kingri House.
During the meeting, the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) chief expressed confidence in the leadership of Imran and assured his complete support and cooperation.
GDA, mainly an anti-PPP alliance, had earlier conveyed to the PTI leadership that if the government does not respond with positive frame of mind to the issues being raised by it, it may become hard for it to face PPP in Sindh.
The GDA leadership had also expressed its concerns in respect of core issues of Sindh like gas, electricity, water, agriculture, federal government jobs etc.