RAWALPINDI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said the country needs a unified stance on COVID-19 as the federal government was send mixed messages which were responsible for the SOPs violations.
The chief minister was addressing media after appearing before the Rawalpindi chapter of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Sindh Roshan Programme case.
CM Sindh blamed the federal government and said that people were not taking the pandemic seriously due to the mixed messages they are being given. He added some people were taking it seriously, while others were dismissing it as the common flu while it is a fatal disease.
The chief minister said the entire world and the country are going through a trial at the moment. He stressed there should be a unified message from the government against the disease.
“SOPs are not being followed at a lot of places and I will not blame the public for it. This is because of the mixed signals being sent to people,” he said.
The chief minister said that the federal government had voiced concern for the economic impact of the virus on the poor. “I know there have been many economic difficulties but you have to think about saving lives,” he added.
He said that he had appeared before NAB Rawalpindi in relation to the Roshan Sindh programme corruption probe. “I was extremely scared to come to Islamabad during the pandemic but I am here because I have been summoned,” he said.
He complained that it had not appeared before the anti-graft body to provide his version then speculations would have been rife on social media that he was about to be arrested.
The chief minister said that he had answered NAB’s questions regarding the Roshan Sindh programme scheme regarding the approval of the scheme when it was not included in the budget. He answered that a scheme can be approved later in accordance with the constitution and that the Roshan Sindh programme was approved by the assembly.
CM Sindh said that he had not been provided with a questionnaire by NAB but he would respond whenever he receives it. The chief minister had arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday evening for the hearing.
NAB officials had earlier claimed that they had recovered Rs298 million in the Sindh Roshan programme case. The bureau had also summoned Murad a few months back in the same investigation but he did not appear.
The Sindh Roshan programme case is one of the many ones falling under the fake accounts case involving PPP chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal among others. The case relates to the installation of solar-powered street lights allegedly on illegal contracts in various districts of Sindh.
Former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah had also appeared before NAB in the same case and had pleaded not guilty to any corruption charge. The project was approved during his government in which Murad Ali Shah served as finance minister.