MIRPURKHAS: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said the province has a large stock of surplus wheat which the government is considering exporting to earn foreign exchange.

He said the provincial government had distributed agricultural land among the landless peasant women and offered handsome support prices of major crops to growers in order to develop and strengthen the farm sector.

The chief minister was recounting his government’s ‘achievements’ at a ceremony held here on Monday for the distribution of certificates of Bibi Benazir Shaheed Youth Development Programme among the fresh graduates.

He said that thousands of youths had received training under the programme by working on government projects and many trained youths had already found work in Middle Eastern countries where they were working as industrial hands. He said the party’s planned Oct 18th public meeting in Karachi would prove to be a historical gathering with participation of great multitudes of people.

The public meeting would mark the start of the politics of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, he said.

He said the party had made preparations for the public meeting at which “we will also apprise the general public of the efficiency of the PPP government over the past past five years”.

He said that Mr Bhutto-Zardari was very keen to carry forward the mission of his slain mother Benazir Bhutto who had been accorded a historical welcome on her homecoming after years in exile on Oct 18, 2007 but the festive air of her caravan turned tragic after it came under a bomb attack in which 155 party workers were killed and over 500 others were injured.

He claimed that the PPP was still popular and lived in the hearts of people because of their unconditional love for the Bhuttos and the great services the party’s governments had rendered for the masses.

He said that former president and co-chairman of the PPP Asif Ali Zardari had launched the Shaheed Benazir Income Support Programme to extend financial help to poor women.

The chief minister said the law and order conditions in the province particularly in Karachi were much better now and Mr Bhutto-Zardari was taking the public meeting as a challenge.

About the government’s failure to work on the Mirpurkhas medical college project which had been announced earlier, he said the province needed huge funds for the project and at the moment it was short of funds because the federal government had so far failed to pay Rs20 billion it owed to Sindh government.

Answering a question, Mr Shah said that inquiry would be held into the old Firdous cinema incident in which a man was killed and six others were injured and a case would be lodged against the culprits.

Earlier, the chief minister presided over a meeting of the party office-bearers of the Mirpurkhas division at Jilani House which was attended by the party’s district president and MNA Mir Munawar Ali Talpur, MPA Syed Ali Mardan Shah, MPA Khairunnisa Mughal and former MPA Shamim Aara Panhwar.

Sources privy to the meeting said the chief minister apprised the participants about the party policy regarding the Oct 18 public meeting and discussed the strategy to ensure attendance of a maximum number of people.

The office-bearers were asked to go door to door to mobilise people for the gathering and the meeting decided that a number of buses and coaches as well as other vehicles would be hired to take thousands of people to the public meeting.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2014

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