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PPP to oppose non-party poll

Updated July 24, 2013

LAHORE, July 23: The Pakistan People’s Party announced on Tuesday that it would oppose, in and outside the parliament, the PML-N’s proposed plan to hold local body elections on a non-party basis.

“We have rejected PML-N’s plan to hold local body polls on a non-party basis and we will raise voice in the Punjab Assembly and launch a drive across the province against it,” former opposition leader in Punjab Assembly and PPP leader Raja Riaz said.

At a press conference at his residence, Mr Riaz said the PML-N had made a plan to “steal” the local government elections by announcing that the councilors’ polls would be held on a non-party basis while mayors’ on a party basis. “The PPP will not let the PML-N succeed in its plan,” he said.

Raja Riaz said the Supreme Court which had taken notice of the discretionary funds of former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf should also take note of Rs3 billion Shahbaz Sharif distributed among the MPAs during the last 90 days of his government in Punjab. “Why this discrimination,” he asked.

Flanked by PPP leaders Mian Misbaur Rehman, Raja Amir, Azizur Rehman Chan and Zahid Zulifqar, Raja Riaz asked in which capacity Hamza Shahbaz used the chief minister’s helicopter for his tour of Sheikhupura, Nankana and Sahiwal. He asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of this.He criticised the government for failing to provide any respite to the people both in terms of loadshedding and price hike. He said the government had also failed to evolve any policy against terrorism. He castigated Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar for making tall claims on a joint policy against terrorism but failed to hold the all parties conference.

Raja Riaz said the Sharifs decision to nominate British citizen Chardhry Sarwar for the slot of Punjab governor showed that they could not find a single Pakistani for the job. He said Sarwar was being rewarded for facilitating the Sharifs during their exile.

Punjab PPP Secretary-General Tanvir Ashraf Kaira said President Zardari would take active part in politics after the completion of his term in September. He claimed there had been no constitutional bar on him (Zardari) in this regard.