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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lambasted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s mishandling of the tourists’ influx in Murree and held Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar as responsible for loss of precious lives due to calamity in the tourist city.

The PML-N president and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif questioned the government’s poor arrangements to handle the influx of tourists in Murree following heavy snowfall, which resulted in loss of more than 20 precious human lives, as thousands of tourists stranded in snow amid worst traffic jam.

“What a massive tragedy Murree is turning out to be! Heart broken to learn about the loss of so many precious lives. My profound condolences & sympathies are with the bereaved families. May Allah rest the departed souls in peace!” Shehbaz said in a tweet.

In yet another tweet he stated, “Where do you pin the responsibility of these deaths? Where was the government all the while? What arrangements did it make to deal with such an influx? Incompetence is fast turning into criminality. Prior arrangements & round the clock supervision were the normal SOPs in the past.”

PML-N senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz also took to Twitter and stated the death caused due to the “negligence” of the government.

“I have NEVER seen such chaos, apathy & incompetence & most importantly a government that has nothing to do with the misery of people. What’s most shocking though is not only the dismissive attitude but the contempt & scorn they pour on the victims,” she tweeted.

In another tweet, Maryam tagged Prime Minister Imran Khan and asked him: “Do you have a slightest feeling for the public [sufferings] or [are you] completely heartless? Don’t you fear Allah?”

She further stated that the government’s job is not only to count tourists but also to make advance arrangements and security measures for them. “The one [PM Khan], who would mock Shehbaz Sharif’s boots and his service, is sitting in his palace trying to save his falling government. These deaths are not due to the snowfall, but because of the government’s negligence,” she stated in yet another tweet.

Speaking at a news conference, senior PML-N leader and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar responsible for their “negligence” and “failure” to put adequate arrangement in place to handle the influx of tourists in Murree.

“The rulers would have to be held accountable. Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar are responsible for all of this,” he maintained, adding that it was unfortunate that the government ministers are blaming those who lost their lives that they should have refrained from visiting Murree.

“The pity of this nation is that such people are ruling over the country who have no concerns for the public and trying to shift the blame of their failure and negligence on the victims,” he added.

Abbasi feared more deaths, saying that hundreds of more people are stranded in tourist spots of Murree and Galiyat. He criticised the government for failure to put in place all the arrangements in advance, saying that former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif used to supervise all the arrangements for the tourists during winters.

“The rulers have no concerns for the people. There is no one to operate the machinery of worth billions of rupees in Murree,” he maintained, adding that he and his party have instructed the party workers and locals to help the stranded people in Murree and its way.

He further maintained that the statements of the information minister and interior minister are on the record that the government is ready to handle any kind of situation, adding that the NDMA and the Met Office had already issued a warning that the hilly areas would receive a record snowfall and called for advance arrangements.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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