Fact-check: Did ECP halt funds for flood-hit areas in Sindh?

No such instructions were issued by the ECP, in particular. However, it is unclear if the interim Sindh government took such measures on its own

Geo Fact-Check

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the former foreign minister and chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has claimed in several press conferences that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has stopped the disbursement of funds in Sindh for ongoing projects, and as a result construction in the flood-hit areas has been halted.

The claim is misleading, as it omits important context.

No such instructions were issued by the ECP, in particular. However, it is unclear if the interim Sindh government took such measures on its own.


On September 8, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said while speaking to reporters in Karachi that the election commission had issued “unconstitutional and illegal” instructions to stop development funds in Sindh.

“Why is this happening in just one province? The [interim] federal government is announcing new schemes which are not in their mandate,” Zardari said, “I want to condemn this. The work that was ongoing for the rehabilitation of the flood affectees has been stopped.”

The video has been viewed tens of thousands of times on YouTube.

Similar claims were made by other senior leaders of Zardari’s political party.

Senator Taj Haider of the PPP also wrote to the ECP on September 3 and September 12, stating that he was shocked to learn that the Commission has frozen development funds in the province of Sindh, including those allocated in the provincial budget for flood-resistant houses for families devastated by last year’s floods.


The Election Commission of Pakistan and a senior official in Sindh confirm that funds for the flood-affected areas have not been halted, and there was in fact a misunderstanding earlier, which has now been cleared.

A senior official in Sindh, who asked not to be named, told Geo Fact Check via messages that the interim Sindh government had asked the ECP for a clarification, after which the latter explained that there is no ban on flood rehabilitation projects.

Now, all ongoing projects will continue, he added.

Election Commission officials in Sindh have also denied that any such instructions were issued to any province.

One official, who asked not to be named, shared a letter with Geo Fact Check which was sent to the caretaker governments in all four provinces on August 15.

The letter issues a list of instructions for caretaker governments to follow in order to ensure free and fair election, including not to announce or execute any kind of development schemes at federal or provincial levels except those which were ongoing and approved.

The letter clearly states that ongoing projects will be allowed to continue but no new projects can be launched.

The issue was further clarified by the ECP on September 15, when it wrote to the chief secretary Sindh, in reference to Taj Haider’s letter.

The ECP’s secretary stated that there was no ban on World Bank assisted projects ongoing in the province, Sindh Solar Energy Projects approved in 2018, Sindh Flood Emergency Housing Reconstruction Project approved in 2023 or on foreign funded projects such as that of World Bank or USAID which have been previously approved.

With additional reporting by Muhammad Binyameen Iqbal and Fayyaz Hussain.

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