SC slams Sindh govt for not resettling Gujjar Nullah affectees

Staff Reporter

The Supreme Court of Pakistan lashed out at the Sindh government Wednesday after the province’s advocate general informed the apex court it does not have enough funds to rehabilitate Gujjar Nullah affectees.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the Gujjar Nullah residents who had requested the formation of a larger bench to hear the anti-encroachment case.

Advocate General Sindh Salman Talibuddin appeared on behalf of the provincial government, informing the court that the Sindh government was in an “extreme financial crisis” as the federal government had not released funds that were to be given to the province.

“The federal government still has Rs20bn [that it had to release to the Sindh government],” said Talibuddin.

“Then give the people [anti-encroachment drive affectees] permission to reside in the Chief Minister House,” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked.

“You can issue the order, we will make room for people at the Chief Minister House,” said the advocate general in response.

When Talibuddin again informed the court that the Sindh government was short of funds, the chief justice responded angrily by saying: “You have done nothing in the province.”

Talibuddin told the court that when a government has limited resources, it has to deal with problems. “You have a different set of priorities. It is not the Supreme Court’s job to assist [the Sindh government],” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said.

Expressing anger at the provincial government, Justice Ahsan said it had sold the land for pennies and now it was claiming that it did not have enough funds.

Talibuddin requested the apex court to release Rs10bn to the Sindh government for the rehabilitation of the Gujjar Nullah affectees.

He requested the court to reallocate the funds from the money deposited in the apex court against the lands allocated in Malir district a few years back by the provincial government.

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