KARACHI: This is with reference to the article titled “Double Shah” by Kamal Siddiqi (August 1). While his writings in general reflect a well-informed and thoughtful approach, I was deeply disappointed to read a paragraph in which it was alleged that Syed Qaim Ali Shah has let his own constituency, Khairpur, “remain in a shambles”. Notwithstanding differences with the former chief minister on political issues, I would like to place on record my great respect for his services to his constituency.
For the past five years, in my voluntary work capacity as chairman of the new SOS Khairpur Children’s Village Project Committee, I visited Khairpur and nearby Sukkur on a fairly frequent basis. A large number of initiatives in education, healthcare, physical infrastructure and services have been completed in Khairpur and directly benefit tens of thousands of citizens. For children without parents or security, the new SOS Village has been constructed on seven acres of land gifted by the government of Sindh in response to our request addressed to then chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah. In addition, he authorised an initial grant of Rs50 million to enable completion of phase 1. On our part, we mobilised Rs70 million from private donors. Phase 1 was completed in March, 2016 and was inaugurated by the then chief minister. Over 35 severely disadvantaged children already have loving homes, security, education and healthcare. Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by the end of December, 2017. About 150 children will be able to build new hopes and lives.
The people of Khairpur, like people elsewhere, require continuing redress of their basic needs. However, they are fortunate to have a compassionate and dedicated elected representative in the person of Syed Qaim Ali Shah. The article about him titled “Tribute to Syed Qaim Ali Shah” by Kaiser Bengali, published in this paper on August 2, is an apt and accurate portrait of a gentleman often misrepresented in media.
Senator (retd) Javed Jabbar