LARKANA: Though the questions of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) regarding interim census, delimitations and performance of the caretakers remained to be answered, the alliance would vigorously participate in the general elections.
This was stated by PPP-Workers (PPP-W) chairman Dr Safdar Abbasi while addressing a press conference at the local press club on Saturday along with Haji Munawwar Abbasi, the convener of the Larkana Awami Ittehad (LAI).
The PPP-W chairman alleged that the caretaker government in Sindh was an “extension of PPP’s 10-year rule” over the province. He argued that the caretakers were supposed to take all possible measures to ensure free and fair elections but they had taken only cosmetic measures.
In this regard, he pointed out that transfer of SSPs from one district to another was meaningless. Similarly, he added, the officers having links with local PPP leaders were appointed assistant returning officers.
He said the GDA was the best alternative to the PPP in Sindh, he said the party’s orchestrated claim of being the only option had fizzled out after its 10 years of poor governance. He said the alliance offered much better leadership and it was gaining massive support.
He said that one could now see and feel that election drive against PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari (whom he called an alien for the Larkana people) was in full swing in the city. “The future scenario is changing leaving only a handful of opportunist cronies around him [Asif Zardari]”, he added.If a level-playing field was provided to all, Zardari would be no where in politics, Dr Abbasi said.
He pointed out that anti-PPP forces was united and there would be one-to-one contest on most seats.
Criticising the biased attitude of Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, a member of the Provincial Election Commission, Dr Abbasi accused him of influencing ECP in taking decisions. In reply to a question, he said: “We are monitoring all factors and if we are not satisfied [about the elections to be free and fair], we [the GDA] may take to streets.”
He claimed that an anti-Zardari wave sweeping across the province would well be felt now as the situation had almost changed.
Answering a question, he said the establishment was not backing GDA and in the same breath he added that “you [journalists], instead, should ask Asif Zardari why he had been staying in Islamabad”.
About Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who is contesting from NA-200 Larkana-I, Dr Abbasi asked where he had been for the last 10 years and how he could defend the 10-year misrule of the PPP government as well as “corruption on the part of his father and aunt”.
He said the PPP had almost been wiped out in Punjab, KPK and Balochistan; it only survived in Sindh under the umbrella of its government.
He said the GDA could win close to 50 seats in the elections.
In replying to another question, Dr Safdar Abbasi said that elections depended on [ousted prime minister] Nawaz Sharif’s moves in London. The media should see what his lawyers’ team was doing in the country [Pakistan].
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018