By Razzak Abro
KARACHI: Mostly it was politics on a purely humanitarian issue, the flood destruction in Sindh, by our politicians during a two-day discussion on flood losses. People sitting in the press and visitors galleries listened to political speeches, mostly from two sides, the opposition (opposition-cum-government), and the PPP benches. Opposition MPAs criticised the government for failing to protect lives and property of the people, while PPP lawmakers defended it.
It was the assembly’s first sitting after the floods. But what was our elected representatives’ first response in the first sitting of the provincial assembly after the floods? No different from our traditional politics, exactly the same, the blame game.
Opposition members or PPP’s rival politicians boycotted on Monday in protest to not allowing them to move a resolution, seeking a judicial inquiry into breaches in canals. But on the other day, most of them remained absent during the discussion on flood losses. Similarly, the MQM leadership had blamed the “feudal politicians” for artificial breaches “to save their agriculture lands” but none of them was present to take part in an important discussion on flood impacts. Most of the PPP lawmakers were also not different. Their seriousness in the discussion was observed at a time when there was no quorum in the House, even during the CM’s presence. The journalists could count only 23 members present when PPP’s Rafiq Engineer was speaking on the issue.
However, there are some politicians such as Nadir Magsi and Jam Tamachi Unar, who appeared realistic during their speeches, and tried to draw the actual picture of the flood tragedy, and wanted to make their colleagues realise about the seriousness for the sake of the common people. Tamachi told his colleagues without levelling allegations on each other they should all now think about the rehabilitation of the people. He asked his government to adopt a transparent method during the relief and rehabilitation process. He admitted that one of the reasons behind the devastation was appointment of officers without merit. He suggested his government to adopt simplicity by curtailing its unnecessary expenses, and as a first step limit the number of cabinet members.
Magsi also portrayed a realistic picture. He said the administration committed some negligence while dealing with the flood emergency. He said the Irrigation Department had lacked planning. He told his colleagues that floodwaters could be diverted but not blocked. He gave his town Shahdadkot’s example telling them how the people there had succeeded in diverting floodwaters. Many of the colleagues appreciated Magsi’s efforts to save Shahdadkot. The CM during his speech termed it a miracle. Magsi told his colleagues that Khairpur Nathan Shah and some areas of Mehar were inundated due to poor planning.
The Sindh CM has announced the constitution of a judicial probe that is yet to start its proceedings. It would also look into some serious things, which surfaced during the two-day speeches in the House, which also played a role in the current flood devastation. Those include turning the katcha areas into agriculture lands, creating private bunds by some influential personalities on canals, and the affairs of the Irrigation Department, etc.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010