The Sindh National Tehreek (SNT) on Monday denounced the federal government’s move to donate 40,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as a goodwill gesture while outlining an acute malnutrition in drought-stricken region of Thar where tens of thousands of men, women and children have been waiting for government aid. Reportedly, SNT Chairman Ashraf Noonari strongly reacted to the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s act of political partisanship during his recent visit to Afghanistan, and said that children in Thar were dying from famine, water-borne diseases and lack of proper medical facilities. “Despite of the federal government’s claim that the national coffers are empty, a large quantity of wheat is being supplied to Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the provincial government has declared a state of calamity in 16 districts of Sindh including seven talukas of Tharparkar district. He said that about 400 children and women were dying every month. Noonari further criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to grant citizenship to 4 million aliens living ‘illegally’ in Sindh. He termed illegal immigration as ‘one of the causes of economic instability and turmoil in the region.’ “Aliens are being issued citizenship, whereas we are threatened of being tried under Article 6 for demanding our constitutional rights,” he added. Noonari asserted that many drought-hit families were forced to migrate to barrage areas for survival, and people of most villages were consuming subsoil water as proper water supply system existed there, which risks certain water-borne diseases. “Sindh’s culture, language and survival are at stake,” he said while warning the government to refrain from such moves. Meanwhile, the SNT demanded the government to withdraw the decision of issuing CNICs to immigrants in Sindh and ensure provision of sufficient amount of food and potable water to people in Thar. QAT protests against dams’ constructions on Indus River, NICs issuance to aliens The Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT) on Monday organised several demonstrations against proposed constructions of Diamer-Bhasha, Mohmand and Kalabagh dams on Indus River and issuance of National Identity Cards (NICs) to Afghanis, Bengalis and other ‘illegal’ immigrants in Sindh. Reportedly, QAT vice-president Gulzar Jumani, district president Agha Abbas and Akbar Soomro led the protest which culminated in front of the Hyderabad press club, followed by rallies in Mehr town of Dadu district, Kandhkot city, Qambar city of Qambar Shahdadkot district and Golarchi taluka of Badin district. They chanted full-throat slogans against the federal government and asserted that they would not allow parliament or any authoritative body to ruin Sindh as people were already dealing with the miseries of drought, famine and water scarcity. “Presence of aliens including Afghanis, Bengalis, Burmese and other immigrants has put a massive burden on the provincial resources of Sindh,” they said. They appealed to the federal government to step back from such an initiative or otherwise, settle them elsewhere in Punjab and other provinces. Published in Daily Times, September 25th 2018.