KARACHI – Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah inaugurated the 196th Urs celebrations of Sufi saint Hazrat Sachal Sarmast at the shrine town of Daraza Sharif on Saturday.

The chief minister laid a wreath on the grave of the multilingual Sufi poet and offered fateha to mark the beginning of the annual Urs celebrations. He was accompanied by PPP leaders and cabinet members.

The CM said Sindh is the land of Sufis who fostered peace, brotherhood and harmony.

On the political side, Murad took aim at the federal government for failing to give the share of the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.

“The government should have announced the award before presenting its budget,” he said and termed the government’s act ‘unconstitutional’.

Murad expressed that the performance of power distribution companies, including K-Electric, SEPCO and HESCO, was unsatisfactory as the people of the province were braving prolonged load-shedding of up to 20 hours.

“I have empowered civic institutions according to the powers given to me by the provincial legislative assembly. I cannot go beyond my authority,” he said while referring to the grievances of Karachi Mayor about toothless local bodies system.

The legislator maintained that the government was making earnest efforts to ensure that growers get their share of water for cultivation.

Talking about the factions and people leaving Pakistan peoples Party ahead of general elections, Shah said the party they were joining couldn’t defeat PPP.

Security arrangements at the shrine have already been beefed up for three-day Urs celebrations to pay respects to Hazrat Sachal Sarmast. The Urs would conclude on June 12.