Bilawal asks Sindh govt to move SHC against April 18 LG by-elections

our correspondents
Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has rejected the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold by-polls for the vacant local government seats in Sindh on April 18, during Ramazan.

Addressing the groundbreaking of the 1,200-bed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (ZABICVD) in Korangi on Monday, the foreign minister asked the provincial government to immediately move the Sindh High Court against the schedule announced by the ECP to hold the LG by-elections.

He said the schedule is a continuation of the earlier ECP policy to deprive the people of the province of their due representation in the LG setup. He urged the ECP to immediately hold the elections for the city mayors and the district chairmen because the LG polls have already been held. He demanded that Karachi’s mayor and district chairmen be elected immediately for peace and political stability in the city because any further delay will once again promote politics of hatred.

He mentioned that after the general elections, never in the electoral history of the country had the polls for the prime minister and chief ministers been delayed until the holding of the by-elections. He recalled that the elected LG representatives in northern Sindh had earlier not gotten the chance to take part in the relief activities for the flood victims because they had not been allowed to take charge of their positions.

He said the PPP had for the first time secured a landslide victory in the LG elections in Hyderabad and had also emerged as the single largest party in Karachi. “Heaven won’t come crashing down if the next mayors of Karachi and Hyderabad are Jiyalas.”

He reiterated his party’s stance that the next mayor of Karachi would be a PPP man whether or not this development is acceptable to anyone. He mentioned that the PPP had secured victory in the LG elections in Karachi after hard work.

He recalled that the PPP had been repeatedly accused of delaying the LG polls in Sindh, and it had been claimed that the party was not in favour of devolving powers to LG representatives. Now that the LG elections have been held, the elected representatives of the people are not being allowed to take charge of their positions, he said.

He mentioned that the PPP is a peaceful democratic political party that has never believed in politics of extremism, but the ECP’s delay in holding the polls for the mayors and district chairmen is unacceptable.

He recalled that the PPP had been deprived of the opportunity to serve Karachi’s people through the LG system. He said that after a PPP loyalist clinches the mayor’s slot, a historic situation will emerge, with the federal, provincial and local governments on the same page. He said that any delay in this regard on the part of the ECP is tantamount to trampling upon the rights of the PPP to serve the people of the city.

‘A model facility’

The PPP chief said that after being upgraded and expanded by the Sindh government, the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) has emerged as a model institution built by any provincial government following the devolution of powers to the provinces in line with the 18th constitutional amendment.

He claimed that the NICVD would compete against any advanced healthcare facility in anywhere in Europe and in India. He said the availability of free cardiac treatment facilities would continue to be expanded in Sindh.

“Some people have been engaged in [political] struggle for the past 30 years, while when I attained the age of 30, the largest free cardiac care facility was built [in Karachi].” He said that no other healthcare facility in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab can match the status of the NICVD in Sindh. He claimed that not even other cardiac care facilities in the rest of the world can match the free treatment services of the NICVD.

He advised politicians to refrain from politics of extremism, division and threats because by doing so they have been harming their own interests. He claimed that fraud is being committed in Punjab and KP in the name of Sehat Insaf Cards because hospitals have not been getting insurance payments after treating patients.


Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari performed the groundbreaking of a 12000-bed cardiac health facility named after former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in Korangi.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the institute, named as Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases ( ZABICVD) was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel, Provincial Health Minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Senator Nisar Khuhro, Executive Director NICVD Dr Nadeem Qamar, all the provincial ministers, diplomats, MPAs and PPP leaders and workers in a large number.

The new ZAB institute of cardiovascular disease stretches over an area of 40 acres, located just North of the intersection of Main Korangi Road with Shah Faisal Korangi Road. The site is bordered on the south by the Institute of Animal Health.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister apprised the chairman about the new ZAB institute and about the health initiatives he has taken so far. He added that after the commendable achievement of NICVD in cardiac quality care and treatment for the people of Pakistan, the ZAB institute would be another huge achievement of his government to establish a 1200-bed, Murad Shah said that upon completion, the ZAB Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases would be the world’s largest cardiac center, catering to a projected population of 20 million in Karachi and also to the rest of the country. “This state-of-the-art complex will comprise seven buildings, occupying a total area of 2,400,000 square feet. Equipped with the most advanced medical technology,” he said and added that it would offer specialized cardiac medical services, including 16 major and minor operating rooms, 18 cardiac cath labs, two MRI labs, four CT labs, and a range of imaging procedures.

The CM said that the hospital would boast the country’s largest clinical and animal research facility, among other services. The Pakistan Peoples Party prides itself on always recognizing healthcare as one of its major priorities, the chief minister said and added that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto always urged the party to focus on education and on health. “Taking her words as our mission, we have concentrated our efforts on these two sectors – health and education, and I am happy to say that our hard work is showing great results,” he said.

Murad Ali Shah said that his party and the government believed strongly that while infrastructure development needed to be a focus for the government, our true purpose must be human development. “To this end, we have invested our efforts towards improving healthcare through various endeavors including but not limited to the upgradation of hospitals and trauma centers; establishment of cardiac centers, expansion of women and children’s hospitals; provision of ambulances and other facilities; introduction safer as our guiding transfusion methods and unequivocally supporting projects,” he said.

SUIT: Talking about SIUT Healthcare Model, the Community-Govt partnership, the CM said that between 2018 to 2022 the largest dialysis center with 380 machines performed around 1350 sessions daily. He added that the largest transplant center performed 6,844 kidney transplants with life-long follow-up and medications for both donors and recipients.

The CM said that the center with five lithotripters treating a large number of stone diseases, dedicated pediatric urology, nephrology, and transplant center. He added that it has a dedicated oncology hospital in the public sector with two radiotherapy machines and PET CT facilities. He proudly said that nearly 15 million people benefited from different services during the last five years.

In Sukkur transplant service was started in SIUT Chablani Hospital where at breast cancer unit surgery, chemo, radiotherapy, and PET CT facilities have been provided.

JPMC: Murad Ali Shah talking about the JPMC Cyberknife unit, said that it has treated 38000 patients and 18000 radio surgeries completed since 2012. He added that a new surgical complex was being established there. The new CyberKnife Unit was being equipped with a robotic surgery facility.

GIMS: The Chief Minister said that Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) has performed 756 liver transplants, 147 kidney transplants, 101 Cornea transplants, 43 Bone marrow transplants, 142 cochlear implant procedures and treated 2446 cancer patients, and gamma knife and 194400 patients in emergency.

Childlife Foundation: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah talking about his government’s partnership with Childlife Foundation said that his government was working with them in 95 Sindh government hospitals and this partnership would further extend to all the government hospitals by the end of this year.

The CM said no child would be more than 30 minutes away from the world-class ICU services across Sindh. “We treat 1.2 million Pediatric Patients per year. “In the near future we are going to integrate with ambulatory services,” he concluded.

Earlier, Minister Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho talked about the health services being provided by the provincial government. Executive Director Dr Nadeem Qamar gave a detailed briefing about the ZAB institute project and about the performance of the NICVD and its satellites.