In April 2016, PILAP called on the Sindh Government to reallocate the Rs. 25 Million earmarked to observe the Death Anniversary of Mr. Z.A. Bhutto (Shaheed) and use it for educating the children of Sindh in his memory.
Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) wrote to the Chief Minister Sindh stressing that the allocation of such a large chunk of taxpayers’ money for the death anniversary of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Shaheed) was a gross misallocation of public funds.
Following is the text of the letter:
It has come to the attention of the Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan (PILAP) that a large sum of Rs. 25 Million has been allocated to mark the death anniversary of Mr. Z. A. Bhutto that is scheduled on April 4th, 2016.
As an organisation that is working for public interest, PILAP promotes and protects the rights of the people of the Pakistan. We believe that the allocation of such a large chunk of taxpayers’ money for the death anniversary of Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Shaheed) is a gross misallocation of public funds.
PILAP believes that this Rs. 25 Million could be used far more effectively for the delivery of the fundamental needs of Sindh’s beleaguered masses. The average citizens of Sindh is poor and struggles daily to meet essential needs, such as clean water, quality education and basic shelter to name just a few.
If we take education in particular, this Rs. 25 Million can be used to send at least 4,000 children to school for one whole year. The Sindh Government needs to wake up to the social and economic costs of spending public money on political issues or persons – a fact that Mr. Z. A. Bhutto (Shaheed) was well aware of and sought to eradicate during his lifetime.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s inspiring dream of ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makaan’ remains a distant dream. PILAP believes and would like to request the Sindh Government that the memory of one of this country’s greatest leaders would be better served if this Rs. 25 million were spent on the access or provision of said rights, rather than on ceremonies whose impact will end with the day.
We would like to bring to your notice that under Article 19A of the Constitution 1973 the people of Pakistan wield the right to know how public money –their hard earned income paid in good faith to the government as taxes – is being spent and whether it is being spent in a fair and transparent manner.
The text of Article 19A is reproduced below:
“Right to information- Every citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matter of public importance subject to regulation and reasonable restrictions imposed by law.”
In order to ensure that the rights of the people of this country are protected and promoted PILAP reaffirms its stance that tax payers’ money should be spent in a manner that benefits Sindh’s people. We would like to stress that a more efficient and effective use of these funds would be to allocate them to the education of Sindh’s children in Mr. Z.A. Bhutto’s memory. Since half of Sindh’s children are currently not enrolled in school, we believe that there can be no better use of these funds, than this.
PILAP maintains that the Sindh government announce the same.
Saad Amanullah Khan