A Pakistani court today ordered the Sindh government to give details of a girls education programme for which former US first lady Michelle Obama granted USD 70 million to Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.A Pakistani court today ordered the Sindh government to give details of a girls education programme for which former US first lady Michelle Obama granted USD 70 million to Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Michelle launched the USD 250 million ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative in 2015 with the aim of using public and private partnerships to fund “new efforts to expand educational opportunities for girls – including in areas of conflict and crisis”. Civil rights campaigner Bisma Naureen, however, filed a petition in the Sindh High Court, and claimed that no one knew where the amount had been used, alleging that USD 70 million was embezzled.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar ordered the authorities to submit all details of the programme. The petitioner has alleged before the court that the aid had been misappropriated in the programme in Pakistan. The petitioner informed the judges that Maryam Nawaz and Michelle Obama had signed a contract to enhance bilateral cooperation and vowed to work together on expanding opportunities of education for women in Pakistan.
However, she alleged, not a single penny was spent on education as no programme was launched by the government. She said that Maryam held no public office and had no authority to run the programme. Maryam has been in the forefront of politics for the PML-N after her father was ousted as the prime minister by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Maryam campaigned for her ailing mother Kulsoom, who contested from NA-120 seat in Lahore, vacated by her husband.
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