Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed hope that funds would be allocated for flood-hit people in the budget, but he lamented that such a decision should have been the thrust of the outlay.
“Sorry to say this [funds for flood-hit people] will be the final inclusion rather than the front and center and thrust of the government’s budget,” he told reporters after the swearing-in ceremony of the Karachi mayor and deputy mayor at a ceremony in the city’s polo ground on Monday.
“But we hope that after our meetings, this will be part of our budget.”
He was responding to a query on his concerns related to the federal budget. In the Swat rally, Bilawal had said that the party would not vote for the outlay if funds were not allocated for the flood victims.
Sindh and Balochistan were two of the worst affected provinces in the 2022 flash floods.
He was of the view that the PPP’s stance that the federal government should contribute its part in the flood reconstruction was nothing new. Bilawal added that the PPP-ruled province had raised its issues with the prime minister in past meetings.
“Now the PPP committee had one meeting a week with the government organisation and tonight we will have another engagement. We hope that our complaints related to floods will be resolved, but I don’t feel that the components of floods should have been the last thing to be included in our budget.”
He reiterated that it should be the thrust of the budget and mentioned the Resilient Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction Framework (4RF), which the ruling alliance pitched at the UN conference should have been followed
“We should have a reconstruction process for flood-hit people,” he said and called for climate-resistant constructions and a better economy.
Bilawal said he was not seeing any political difference with the PML-N and there was a good working relationship with its leadership.
About the census, Bilawal said objections were being raised from all over the country on the matter and this census would remain controversial in the future as well.
He also said that he was buying a water tanker because the water supply of Bilawal House in Karachi was cut off during the Musharraf regime.
“Karachi is the only city that can save the country and now he will supervise the affairs of the port city himself,” he said and alleged that the Jamaat-e-Islami along with Zaman Park tried to capture Karachi.
Foreign Minister Bilawal added the next general elections were very close. He announced that the provincial government would cooperate with the Karachi mayor as PPP’s Mayor Murtaza Wahab’s arrangements will be better than the local government arrangements of the past.