ISLAMABAD: In a bid to silence its critics over the wheat flour crisis in the province, the Punjab government adopted an unusual way and sent a truckload of wheat flour to the residence of the PML-N Punjab spokesperson Uzma Bukhari who had earlier criticised the provincial government over shortage of the staple food item in the market.
In a TV show, Bukhari had criticised the government for its failure to provide flour to the masses and went on to say her cook had been looking for a bag of flour for the past three days.
The next day the Punjab government, in a bid to disprove her claims, sent to her house truckload of flour bags.
Bukhari told media that instead of dealing with the problem, the Punjab government decided to create a “tamasha” (scene) by sending a truckload to my house.
“This is a classic example of immature politics taught by Imran Khan to his cronies,” she added.
The Punjab government’s spokesperson said the action was taken in response to Bukhari’s complaint about unavailability of flour in Lahore markets at official rate.
Bukhari has, however, termed it violation of her privacy and an attempt for cheap publicity to divert attention from the fact of disappearance of flour from markets and its availability only at exorbitant rates. “It was a drama orchestrated at the behest of the Punjab government,” she said.
Earlier, the workers of the Punjab Food Authority offloaded 40 sacks of flour outside her house on the directions of the authorities.
Bukhari said those accompanying the truck refused to move it from outside her house. She said PFA officials insisted upon delivering the flour at her home, therefore, forcefully piled up the flour bags at her gate.
She agreed to take one bag of 20kg flour, paying its official rate of Rs790 but even after that, the truck wasn’t moved, resulting in a scene that attracted area residents’ attention, who then started buying wheat from the truck.
It took an hour to remove the truck from outside her residence. Punjab Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry had ruled out impression of any shortage of wheat flour in the province.
“There is no flour crisis in the province”, Chaudhry said. The food minister challenged he could show the wheat stock in the warehouses of the provincial government.