Pak set up `dummy` relief camp during PM`s visit
Last Updated: Thursday, August 05, 2010, 16:47
Islamabad: Pakistani authorities set up a "dummy" relief and medical camp during a visit to flood-hit areas by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who handed "patients" cheques for Rs 5,000 each, according to a media report on Thursday.

The incident occurred in the flood-hit Mianwali area of Punjab province yesterday, Geo News reported.

The premier flew by helicopter to the area and landed at the Jinnah Barrage and Rokhri to meet victims and local officials.

Gilani's visit to Mianwali was delayed by a few days due to bad weather. He also toured parts of Mianwali in a boat and then went to a relief and medical camp set up at a government-run school where he met and interacted with "patients".

The TV news channel aired footage of Gilani talking to the "patients" and handing them cheques for Rs 5,000 each. However, Geo News reported that the "patients" disappeared soon after the premier's visit.

The channel also aired footage showing that all beds at the medical camp were empty.

The channel juxtaposed scenes from the Bollywood comedy "Munnabhai MBBS", which centres round a gangster going to medical school, with footage of Gilani's visit to the "dummy" medical camp.

In a report, the Dawn newspaper jokingly remarked that Gilani had displayed "his hitherto hidden magical healing powers" during his visit to the medical camp.

It said the visit was filmed by state-run PTV which has been "told to compensate for the lack of positive coverage that Prime Minister Gilani is said to be worried about".

"But no one would have imagined that the trip to the medical camp set up for the flood-affected people will lead to Mr Gilani's emergence as a true messiah for the ailing humanity," the report said.

"No sooner had the Prime Minister departed from the spot than those who had set it up decided that the camp was no more needed," it added.


First Published: Thursday, August 05, 2010, 16:47

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