Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari has warned his political opponents not to underestimate the PPP, adding that the party was still popular in all the provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
Addressing a public meeting at Kakri Ground in Lyari on Sunday, Zardari said that he was not ready to accept that the PPP was no more a popular party. He conceded that the forces working against the PPP created difficulties for them. He said that there was a time when the PPP could not form government in Sindh during the days of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed but in the next elections, the party formed government at the centre and in Sindh. He announced a development package of one billion rupees for Lyari, setting up of Bilawal Bhutto Engineering College, low cost housing scheme and regularisation of contractual government employees. He also assured that water shortage in Lyari would be overcome in three months.
The PPP co-chairman advised PPP workers not to be disappointed by the results of local government elections in cantonments, adding that general elections were only two and a half years away and they should start preparations for that.
He said that he would hold the PPP flag till Asifa Bhutto takes over it. He said that time had come to handover party leadership to the younger generation.
He said that whenever the PPP’s mandate was stolen in elections, it emerged even stronger, adding that Lyari public meeting was the beginning of his ‘meet the people’ programme and would be going to other provinces and cities for similar meetings. Zardari said that they had decided that investment from China would not be allowed to be derailed in any case and for this purpose he had held meetings with political leaders of the country. He told the people of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that there would be no harm to their interests as a result of the mega projects.
He said that they would not allow to turn them into minority as the 18th amendment provides a guarantee.
He said he was elected from Lyari as MNA and this was the birth place of his two children. He said that the massive gathering was a proof that the area was still the citadel of the PPP.
Regarding the situation in Indian-held Kashmir, Zardari said he was not doing any business with India. He warned Indian leadership not to victimise Kashmiris. He said a day would come when the Pakistanis, Indian Muslims and Kashmiris would strongly raise the Kashmir cause.
He also criticised some media outlets saying they were criticising PPP for the sake of theirrating. He advised them to show the truth and highlight the genuine issues. Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah on this occasion said that issues of Lyari were among the top most priorities of the PPP government. He said that the provincial government had established as many as 77 educational institutions including a university in the town. Sherry Rehman and other leaders of the party also addressed the meeting.