ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif on Monday demanded the formation of a judicial commission to probe the Murree tragedy in which more than 20 people lost their lives after being stranded in heavy snow, Geo News reported.
Speaking during a session of the National Assembly, Shahbaz condemned the “mismanagement” on part of the government that, according to him, led to the tragic deaths.
It should be recalled that on Saturday night, more than 20 tourists died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Murree after their vehicles got stuck in heavy snow.
“Twenty-three people lost their lives in the tragic incident, while tourists were stuck in snow for more than 20 hours but no one bothered to help them,” Shahbaz said.
He added that people kept calling for help but neither the traffic police nor any other body was there to assist them.
“The Murree tragedy was nothing but an administrative failure and it demonstrates the incompetency and criminal negligence of the incumbent government,” he said.
He further said that it was not the first time that Murree received heavy snowfall and this time, snowstorms had been forecast, so the authorities concerned could have taken preventative measures beforehand.
Referring to the Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry’s earlier statement in which he appreciated the “boost in Murree’s tourism,” Shahbaz said: “When the tragic incident happened a ‘Neru’ was sleeping in Islamabad, while the other one was busy rigging Punjab’s local body elections.”
Shahbaz said that every year, millions of tourists visit Murree and a road map of preventive measures was also given to the hill station’s administration but the “government dealt with the Murree issue in the same way as it did to destroy the country’s economy.”
The PML-N president criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement in which he said that the district administration was unprepared to deal with the situation.
“If the administration was not prepared for the situation, then what are you doing? Resign from the post and go back home,” Shahbaz said.
The Opposition leader further added that the “nation will not pardon the government for its criminal negligence.”
PTI govt always resorts to victim-blaming: Bilawal
During the Assembly session, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also seconded the Opposition leader and demanded the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the Murree incident.
“All opposition parties demand the government form a judicial commission to probe the Murree incident,” he said.
Bilawal, in his speech, said that PM Imran Khan “lived a two-hour drive away from Murree where people were stranded, but he did not pay heed.
He further said that whenever a tragic incident takes place in Pakistan, the PTI government resorts to victim-blaming.
Responding to the Opposition leader’s comments, information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that he was “expecting Shabaz Sharif to speak like a leader, but he has nothing to say.”
“I was expecting him to talk in a way that will create an environment of national unity, but as usual, he talked about politics once again,” Fawad said while speaking at the National Assembly.
The federal minister said that even after staying in the government for 30 years, the PML-N president has “failed to turn himself into a leader because leaders are born not made.”
Fawad said that the PML-N have “just built their palaces and not even a single penny was spent on Murree during the party’s tenure,” adding that “now they are giving lessons to us.”