KARACHI      -    Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the country is passing through a very difficult phase of its history and the federal government being ignorant of the situation has started witch-hunting opposition parties.

“At this juncture, there is a dire need to forge national unity to face the Indian aggression in held-Kashmir and tackle internal issues like sinking national economy with collective wisdom and national consensus. On the contrary, the federal government has arrested two former prime ministers and a former president and a new arrest is taking place every day,” he said.

He said this on Thursday while talking to the media after attending graduating ceremony at SZABIST ZABTech Institute of Technical and Vocational Education at the Banquet Hall of Chief Minister’s House.

Murad condemned arrest of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and said it was political vendetta against the opposition parties. “I am not opposed to allegations or registration of cases against any political personality, but arrests are made only after investigation is complete and charges against the accused are proved,” he said. He said that opposition leaders are being arrested even before completion of any investigation.

He said Maryam Nawaz was arrested yesterday. Earlier, he said, former finance minister Miftah Ismail was arrested. “You have already arrested two former prime ministers and a former president and put behind the bars former ministers, advisers and members of the National Assembly? What is this?” he asked. “You should bring all opposition political parties on one page to face the India aggression and unite people to steer the nation out of the prevailing economic crisis. But contrary to the fact, you have started putting the political leadership behind the bars,” he said.

He said this kind of attitude and way of ruling the country would create cracks in the national unity and is bound to create unrest among people of Pakistan. To a question, Murad said under the constitution the speaker of the provincial assembly automatically takes over as acting governor when the provincial governor goes out of country, but surprisingly they nominated the deputy speaker to take over as acting governor.

“It means the deputy speaker will perform as governor and the speaker will chair the assembly session. How is it possible?” he asked. It would have been a grave constitutional violation had the deputy speaker not refused to work as acting governor, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said he was happy and proud that residents of Sehwan, his hometown, received technical training to become useful citizens of the society. He said that youngsters, particularly those who were wasting their time here and there, have been made skilful. “Now, you can set up your personal auto shops, mechanic shops and other businesses to lead a respectable life,” he said, adding he was happy that 362 girls received technical training in trades like driving and beautician courses and became self-sufficient. He said he would upgrade the Sehwan institute to a degree awarding institute.

The graduation ceremony was attended by SZABIST Chancellor and Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, acting chief secretary Mohammad Waseem, provincial ministers Taimore Talpur and Shahla Raza, P&D Chairperson Nahid Shah, provincial secretaries, representatives of industry, representatives of international organisations, member of the board of governance and member of the board of trustees of SZABIST.

Addressing the graduation ceremony, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, chancellor and co-chairperson of SZABIST, congratulated the Sindh government, SZABIST ZABTech and graduates on their success. Emphasizing the need for technical and vocational training and education in Sindh, she said the “youth of Sindh is full of potential and the land of Sindh encompasses many opportunities for them. She said SZABIST ZABTech and the government of Sindh can work together to empower young girls and boys with market relevant skills.

Welcoming the guests, SZABIST ZABTech (itve) Director Waheeda Mahesar said it was an honour for the trainees to receive certificates and toolkits at Chief Minister’s House. She said that many of them have not been to Karachi before. She said that TVET was the only solution for the youth bulge and requested the Sindh chief minister to help strengthen SZABIST ZABTech Institute at Sehwan and announce more such programmes across Sindh.  SZABIST ZABTech, having an experience of over 18 years in Technical and Vocational Education, is upfront in socio-economic development of the youth and marginalised communities through skill development. With over 500 industry linkages, ZABTech is playing a vital role in creating skilled workforce in Sindh.