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PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan addressing a press conference along with former federal minister Qamaz Zaman Kaira at People's Secretariat. — Online photo
PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan addressing a press conference along with former federal minister Qamaz Zaman Kaira at People's Secretariat. — Online photo

ISLAMABAD: The PPP has termed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s maiden address to the nation an attempt to influence voters before Thursday’s by-elections.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s central secretariat on Wednesday, PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan said there was no reason that could have compelled Mr Sharif to address the nation.

“In a parliamentary form of government, prime ministers do not address the nation, but only those who do not have appropriate forums like parliament do so.”

Former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira was also present at the press conference.

Mr Ahsan said there was no mention in Mr Sharif’s speech about how his government would tackle the issues of terrorism, missing persons and drone strikes.

“Nawaz Sharif did not give any plan to defeat terrorism, but he talked about initiating a dialogue with militants in a vague manner. Would he like to tell the nation whether militants accept the Constitution and democracy?”

The PPP leader said the prime minister did not spell out the terms and conditions under which the government would hold talks with militants.

He said his party’s government had introduced a policy of 3Ds – deterrence, dialogue and development. “Under this policy, the PPP government initiated dialogue with Sufi Mohammad, a leader of militants in Swat, conducted an operation and later carried out development work in the area,” Mr Ahsan said.

The PPP leader said Mr Sharif levelled baseless allegations against the PPP government about Neelum-Jhelum power project. He said the project was commissioned in 2005 and the PPP government had ordered the authorities concerned to complete it by 2016. “How is it possible that transmission lines can be erected 10 years before completion of the project?”

The PPP leaders brushed aside the claim of the prime minister that the cost of Nandipur power project went up from Rs23 billion to Rs57bn. “The PPP will seek an explanation from the government on the issue,” said Mr Kaira.

He said Mr Sharif did not talk about missing persons in Balochistan, Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan programme and killings of people belonging to the Hazara community in the province.

He claimed that the foundation stone of a road project from Kashgar to Gwadar was laid by the PPP government.

Comments (6) Closed

AK Aug 22, 2013 08:52am

Ahsan & Kaira: The nation has acknowledged your accomplishments, at the polls. You need not say anything more. Ahsan is a black spot on the legal profession of Pakistan. The nation is now waiting for Zardari to step down, so they can have accountability and demand the looted money back from him. I hope the government put Zardari on ECL.

Sanaullah Aug 22, 2013 09:48am

Nawaz sharif can only impose bans on jobs, enhance taxes, deliver emotional speeches and accusing musharraf and ppp for all the problems in Pakistan. the only thing he can't do is, stop talking and start doing!

M J Syed Aug 22, 2013 10:22am

This kind of bickering is OK for any democracy. It is a positive sign from both sides.

Anees Aug 22, 2013 10:33am

" Mr Ahsan said there was no mention in Mr Sharif

Hammad Aug 22, 2013 11:31am

PPP seems like a rudderless ship without BB. The loss is now clearly visible. Zardari, even when he leaves the presidency and becomes politically 'active' is no match for PMLN. I miss the days when just one BB would make the whole PMLN panic.

p.shuja Aug 24, 2013 10:27am

Mr.A.A. is the modern version of " Mir and Jafar " of " Tepoo Sultun "'s time. Being a go between, the biggest money maker.

Money is every thing for him.

God save him.