The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s victory in the 2018 General Elections has been a moral boaster for their leadership. The result was evidence of the Sindhi people’s continued trust in the party. They have once again emerged as victors, just like 2013, and seem to be unbeatable in the province for the past few years. While the Bhutto name alone is reason enough for many to vote for the PPP, their performances in their last tenure were commendable, and much improved from previous years.
Now the party is getting ready to assume office, and have elected Syed Murad Ali Shah for his second term as Chief Minister. His government faces a host of challenges over the coming months as they try to tackle issues regarding employment, education, health, infrastructure, scarcity of water and rampant corruption. Since this is their third term of governance, the party must be well aware of the great task at hand. Their previous governments have had to face charges of corruption on all levels, and for their incompetence or inability to bring relief to the people of the Sindh.
Currently over 46 percent of Sindh’s population is living under the poverty line and millions of children are struggling to get their basic right of education. Due to corrupt departments, and a total lack of accountability, the infrastructure and facilities in the majority of educational institutions are not fit to provide a quality education to the unfortunate children of the province.
The state of medical facilities is not any better, and a lot of work needs to be done to provide quality health care to the people of Sindh. The PPP has managed to do some work in this regard, especially in their last tenure. They have set up a network for treating cardio vascular diseases in the various parts of the province, under the control of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) in Karachi. They also significantly raised the grant awarded to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT) in Karachi, which has been providing treatment free of cost for many years.
The Chairman of the PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has recently presided over many meetings in order to determine what can be done to provide proper facilities to the people of Sindh. In his first parliamentary meeting with the members of the Provincial Assembly, he directed them to keep in touch with the people of the region in order to stay in tune with their demands and their issues
The Jinnah Hospital in Karachi has recently introduced the Cyber knife treatment for Cancer patients that would normally face financial constraints in getting treatment for their disease. Lastly, since so many ailments can be traced back to the consumption of unclean water, water plants have been set up in remote parts of the province that ensure everybody, rich or poor, have access to clean drinking water; the tanks just need to be maintained in order to have their desired effect.
The Chairman of the PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, has recently presided over many meetings in order to determine what can be done to provide proper facilities the people of Sindh. In his first parliamentary meeting with the members of the Provincial Assembly, he directed them to keep in touch with the people of the region in order to stay in tune with their demands and their issues. Due to their long reign over the province, the PPP contains an experienced and qualified team to tackle problems on the grass-root level. The party also has a dedicated chairman in the form of Mr. Bilawal, who reminds one of his mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, in his devotion to the people of Pakistan.
As a young Chairman of the party, he needs to revisit the PPP’s policies regarding the youth in the province, and ensure that they have a progressive future to look forward to. However, these policy changes will have no effect unless they are implemented effectively throughout Sindh. Over the previous tenures, the party used their strong Sindhi roots, and knowledge of the province to win the majority in the general elections. However, this is their third consecutive term in charge, and it is high time that they show that they can bring about actual change, and introduce concrete policy ideas that can improve the conditions for the people of Sindh. Perhaps, if they are successful, the people of other provinces might take a cue from Sindh, and vote for them in the next elections.
The writer is a MBBS doctor and MAS (Master in Health Services Management)
Published in Daily Times, August 17th 2018.