KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the respondent federal government authorities to file details of the programme ‘Let Girls Learn’ through which former US first lady Michelle Obama granted 70 million dollars to Maryam Nawaz to promote girls’ education in Pakistan.
Headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, a two-judge bench was hearing a constitutional petition of a civil rights campaigner, Bisma Naureen, against alleged misappropriation of the aid granted for the promotion of girls’ education.
The petitioner informed the judges that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and Michelle Obama had signed a contract to enhance Pak-US cooperation and vowed to work together on expanding opportunities of education for females in Pakistan. However, she alleged, not a single penny was spent on education as no programme was launched by the government.
The civil rights campaigner stated in her petition that no one knew where the amount had been used, alleging that $70 million was embezzled.
She impleaded the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau chairman, Prime Minister’s House, federal finance ministry and Maryam Nawaz as respondents and asked the court to direct the country’s top anti-graft institution to probe into this matter and bring the culprits under the law.
The petitioner also questioned Maryam’s authority to run government affairs and said that the former prime minister’s daughter did so without holding any public office. She also asked the federal authorities to explain under which capacity Maryam Nawaz had signed the agreement with the US First Lady.
Meanwhile, another division bench expressed extreme annoyance over the authorities concerned for not paying the compensation to the Lyari Expressway affectees and summoned project director and deputy commissioners of Karachi’s East, West, Central and Malir districts.
The SHC bench was hearing a joint petition of the citizens who had vacated their houses for the completion of the Lyari Expressway on the assurance that they would be compensated for evacuating the land.
The petitioners, represented by Advocate Shaukat Ali Shaikh, said they had evacuated the land and surrendered it for the project, but the agreed amount of the compensation had not been paid by the authorities concerned over the past seven years.
The court directed the project director and deputy commissioners of East, West, Central and Malir to hold a meeting within seven days and appear before it along with the lists of affectees who had not been paid their due compensation.