KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the federal has did not take adequate and required steps to see the approaching attack of locust swarms in Sindh and other provinces as clouds of locusts have landed in several parts of the country and are destroying crops.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PPP chairman said he had repeatedly warned the federal of the threat of locust attacks to the economy but the Centre took no measures, after which the country’s agriculture had come under the severe locust onslaught, which could cause a dangerous blow to the economy that had already been reeling thanks to the coronavirus emergency.
Bilawal said the failure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal to guard the growers and crops against the locust attacks despite having chances to require advance efforts was unpardonable culpable negligence and Prime Minister Imran Khan and his entire cabinet must be held liable for things.
The PPP chairman said time and again he and his party leaders were raising the difficulty and stressing the implementation of the National Action Plan decided by the federal and provincial governments to keep off the locust threat.
He said the specified number of planes weren’t hired to regulate the swarms heading towards the meadows from borders because it was the duty of the plant protection department of the federal to require measures for destroying locusts at the entry points. “Now, the reports about the attacks of locusts in Khairpur, Sukkur, Sanghar, Nawabshah, and a number of other parts of Sindh also as in other provinces are pouring in. Standing crops and matured fruits are being destroyed by locusts while the poor growers are watching the ravages helplessly.”
Bilawal appreciated the Sindh government for taking steps on its own, including hiring planes for aerial spray against the locusts, though it had been the responsibility of the federal to conduct sprays and supply the specified chemicals to the provinces for sprays on the grounds.