No water in state-run schools, no medicines available in public hospitals — yet, provincial governments spend taxpayers’ money on massive advertisements, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said on Wednesday.
He made these remarks while taking suo motu notice of media advertisements by the governments of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab.
The apex court constituted a three-member bench, led by Chief Justice Nisar, and fixed a hearing to be held on March 12. The court directed information secretaries of the three provincial governments to submit the record of awarding advertisements to print and electronic media within a week. The court also asked the authorities to provide details of how many advertisements were provided to each media house.
“Taxpayers’ money is being used for self-promotion; big advertisements are awarded at the nation’s expense,” the chief justice said in his remarks, asking, “Doesn’t this equate to pre-poll rigging?”
The chief justice said that the provincial governments run advertisements in the media with large logos and pictures to promote their projects, “yet 4,500 schools in Sindh are deprived of potable water”.
“They [govts] will have to promote their work at their own expense,” he added.