Govt adds insult to injury by giving rotten wheat to starving Tharis, says Palijo

Qaumi Awami Tehreek chief Ayaz Latif Palijo has said that Sindh government is adding insult to injury by giving rotten wheat to starving Tharis in the name of relief.

Mr Palijo said in a statement issued here on Wednesday that it was sheer insult of poor Tharis and flagrant violation of fundamental human rights that over 600,000 people were being treated like “children of lesser gods” in their worst crisis caused by long and severe drought in the rain-dependent desert region.

He said that drought-hit people were being subjected to untold humiliation for the sake of a few kilogrammes of rotten wheat.

“The Pakistan Peoples Party leaders left poor Tharis to die a slow death throughout the 10 years of their rule by subjecting them to consume highly contaminated water,” he said.

He slammed the rulers for their ostrich-like approach to unabated deaths of infants and livestock and massive migration of people from Thar to canal-irrigated areas. PPP rulers plundered huge public funds reserved for relief and left Tharis with no other recourse but to commit suicide or leave their homes to save themselves from ravages of drought, he alleged.

“Successive governments in Sindh instead of addressing real issues of the desert region, including healthcare facili­ties, provision of clean drinking water and quality education, washed their hands of responsibility by only distributing wheat among drought-stricken people,” he said.

Mr Palijo said that it was a matter of shame that this year alone nearly 490 infants had died in the region but ministers of Sindh government were busy shifting blame on each other and doing nothing to stop deaths.

He said that it was grave callousness and indifference on the part of rulers who were least interested in releasing water into the only water outlet of the desert and releasing salaries to workers of reverse osmosis plants to ensure people continued to get water.

He urged heads of international organisations working in Pakistan to set up camps in Thar and provide some relief to drought-stricken people. “People see no light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mr Palijo and added that people had pinned hopes only on chief justice of Pakistan to help mitigate their unending misery.

Advocate Shah Nawaz Hingojo, district president of QAT, told journalists that they would mobilise thousands of people to stage a demonstration on Oct 25 against inadequate distribution of relief items in Thar.