Monday Sep 12, 2022
KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Memon blamed on Monday the PTI for spreading the propaganda over donations from the United Kingdom for flood victims, saying that the party will have to answer for it.
"I want to ask PTI workers: what's the point of this campaign? The spokespersons for PTI should answer," the information minister said after a post-cabinet press conference.
The Sindh government had come under fire after news circulating on social media claimed that the PPP-led government was selling flour bags in stores that it received in aid from the UK after the recent floods in Pakistan.
A picture of a flour bag with “UK aid” printed on it was being shared on social media, and several Twitterati claimed that the bags were part of the aid Pakistan received from the UK and were being sold in the stores of Karachi.
But soon after the images were shared on Twitter, Sindh CM House and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) rubbished the claims, saying the photos were old.
Memon then appealed to Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and the federal government to take action against the social media users involved in the campaign targeting the Sindh government.
The minister, taking a swipe at PTI and ex-prime minister Imran Khan, said whilst everyone is busy in relief works, a party is resorting to political tactics, which no one [else] would think of resorting to.
Memon said that the UK wheat bag photos were shared on social media and international donors were tagged.
"What is the purpose of this heinous campaign? Flood affectees — including women, children, and the elderly — are all disturbed. To add insult to injury, they [some social media users] are asking international bodies to not help Pakistan," he said.
The minister said that people who support Khan shared the images and tagged donors, noting that if the government decides to take action against them, it will not be tantamount to an attack on freedom of expression.
Memon also announced that he will approach the Sindh High Court (SHC). "The courts should also take notice of this issue as this is not exercising the right to freedom of expression."
"This is a conspiracy against flood affectees and poor children. Khan sahab, you have not yet stepped down from your high horse," he said, slamming the PTI chairman for holding back-to-back rallies.
Memon questioned what sort of politics PTI was indulging itself in as the nation was helping flood affectees, but the party was resorting to "heinous" campaigns.
Pakistan is currently reeling from the devastation caused by the catastrophic floods largely depending on aid from international organisations and friendly countries for relief and rehabilitation.
Floods in Pakistan have affected some 33 million people and submerged one-third of the country. Since mid-June, over 1,300 people have died and more than 12,000 have been injured, as per the official tally. The provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have been the worst hit, where entire villages have been inundated.