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KARACHI: Announcing a massive public mobilisation campaign against the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, the Grand Democratic Alliance said on Friday it was about time to dispel the impression that there was no alternative political force that could effectively counter the PPP in Sindh.

This emerged at an important meeting of the GDA — a conglomerate of various political and sub-nationalist parties — held under the chairmanship of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional chief Pir Pagara at Kingri House.

“We’ll fight it out against the PPP in every nook and corner of Sindh in the next general elections,” reads a GDA statement issued after the meeting, which was also attended by PML-F Sindh president Pir Sadruddin Shah Rashdi, National Peoples Party’s Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Qaumi Awami Tehreek’s Ayaz Latif Palijo, Peoples Party Workers’ Safdar Abbasi, Irfanullah Marwat, former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza, former chief ministers Syed Ghous Ali Shah, Arbab Ghulam Rahim and others.

Agha Taimur, son of PPP’s ex-minister Agha Tariq Pathan, was the new entrant in the GDA’s meeting, in which he made an announcement that he would be part of the GDA’s movement.

After the meeting Pir Sadruddin Shah briefed reporters that participants also spoke about the hardships being faced by sugar cane growers and teachers and the GDA decided that it would raise its voice for them.

He said the meeting decided to organise phase-wise conventions in every district of Sindh to mobilise the masses.

Ghous Ali Shah said the echo of the two recent public meetings of the GDA was still in the air and the perpetual perception that the PPP faced no political alternative in Sindh was wrong. He blamed the PPP for promoting a culture of corruption in Sindh.

Referring to a recent police action against protesting teachers in Karachi, Mr Palijo said the meeting expressed its concern over the government-sponsored torture on peaceful protesters.

The meeting blamed former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari for ordering reduction in the prices of sugar cane and rice. It also discussed issues relating to the lady health workers, he said.

“GDA condemns carving of new electoral constituencies that suits the PPP and demands action against corrupt ministers and other influential persons instead of pigmies in bureaucracy,” Mr Palijo said.

The participants said the GDA would enter into seat-adjustment agreements with “honest” politicians only.
“Those who are involved in china cutting of land and sold jobs will never be our allies,” Mr Palijo said, adding that the GDA decided to hold its next ‘big’ public rally in Moro on Feb 18.

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2017