GUJAR KHAN, Oct 21: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Sunday the PPP had the capacity to sweep elections in 1990 but the party was deprived of victory through plots that had recently been confirmed by Supreme Court in its verdict in Asghar Khan case.
Speaking at a public meeting here, Mr Ashraf claimed the PPP would sweep the future elections because it truly represented the masses.
The prime minister said that those who came to power in the past through rigged and engineered elections would taste a bitter defeat in the next general election because the PPP and its allies had eliminated all chances of rigging by producing transparent voter lists. Addressing the massive meeting at a stadium, Mr Ashraf said the voter lists for the Gujar Khan constituency had been purged of over 125,000 bogus names.
“Those who rely on bogus votes will be defeated and the Potohar region and Punjab will be swept by PPP candidates in the coming elections,” he remarked.
The prime minister said the Supreme Court’s verdict had vindicated Benazir Bhutto’s just stance that 1990 elections had been rigged and those who claimed to be the champions of politics should now bow their heads in shame.
He said the PPP was the party of the poor and it gave the common man the courage to stand up for his rights. It had always fought for the rights of the downtrodden and that was why its two top leaders Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated.
Mr Ashraf said that those who assassinated Ms Bhutto had also attacked 14-year schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai. He said that Bilawal Bhutto had rightly said that killers of his mother had attacked his sister Malala.
“We as the government will protect each and every daughter of our nation,” he said.
He said he was extremely grateful to President Asif Ali Zardari and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto for elevating a middle-class party worker like him to the post of premiership.
The prime minister said he was son of the soil of Gujar Khan and announced establishment of the Potohar University on the GT Road near Gujar Khan.
He also announced that all educational institutions, including schools and colleges of the region, would be provided with information technology labs to promote computer education in the area.
Responding to a public demand for grant of district status to Gujar Khan tehsil, the prime minister said he had discussed the matter with the Punjab chief minister who had assured him that the tehsil would soon get the desired status.
Mr Ashraf also announced development projects of over Rs12 billion for Gujar Khan tehsil and its adjoining areas. He also announced ‘dualisation’ of Mandra-Chakwal road at a cost of Rs2.7 billion and ‘dualisation’ of Sohawa-Chakwal road at a cost of Rs3.3 billion.
The prime minister also inaugurated construction of Rs425 million Gujar Khan underpass and Rs160 million Doltala-Gujar Khan road.
Raja Tariq Kiani and Brig (retd) M. Hassan also spoke on the occasion. Law Minister Farooq H. Naek, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar also attended the meeting.
Earlier on his arrival at the venue, the prime minister was warmly received by party workers amid slogans of “Jeay Bhutto”. On seeing the excitement of party workers and local people, the prime minister ordered removal of bullet-proof glasses and said he did not want any barrier between him and the masses.