LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party Sindh president Nisar Khuhro has said that the PPP cannot be pressured or subdued through the old tactics of filing cases against it. “We have long been facing such pressure tactics and always emerged successful,” he said.

Mr Khuhro was speaking to party workers at various corner meetings held on Tuesday as part of the electioneering for PPP’s candidates for national and provincial assemblies’ Larkana constituencies.

Alluding to the recently filed corruption reference against PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his family members and certain associates, as well as arrest of some of Mr Zardari’s close aides, he said: “We, along with our leaders and workers are here to face such things and defend democracy,” he said.

He recalled that the PPP leadership had previously faced several such cases bravely in courts and come out with clean slate; it was still ready to face new cases “fearlessly”.

Mr Khuhro observed that party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s whirlwind tours of many Sindh districts and the Seraiki belt of Punjab had puzzled PPP opponents.

“The rousing welcome accorded to Bilawal everywhere in his tours is the answer to the opponents’ criticism of PPP as well as their contention that the party had turned weak,” he said.

He said that the warm welcome he [Bilawal] received from enthusiastic workers and supporters and well-attended receptions hosted for him spoke of the party’s rising popularity graph.

He argued that if PPP’s opponents were not fearful of it, then why they had resorted to erecting barricades in the way of Bilawal’s convoy [in Uch Sharif].

Labelling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) “a hideout of lotas [turncoats] and corrupt elements”, Mr Khuhro also described the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leadership as “a band of disgruntled and dejected people with anti-Sindh agenda”.

He said they were now shedding crocodile tears and deceiving masses so as to keep them away from their right to rule, adding that they had been exposed before people who could clearly see their real faces.

The PPP leader also received several delegations from different parts of the district that called on him here on Tuesday to lend their support to PPP candidates in the election.

Mr Khuhro expressed his confidence that both GDA and PTI would suffer humiliating defeat in the election.

Action against office-bearer

Mr Khuhro on Monday removed Sikandar Lakho from his post of PPP’s Ghotki taluka president for his act of supporting the party’s rival candidate, Shakeel Memon, the spokesman for the PPP Sindh president informed Dawn on Tuesday.

He said the disciplinary action against Lakho was taken with the approval of party chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Electioneering picks up momentum

All major contestants belonging to the PPP, GDA and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) as well as independent candidates have accelerated their campaigns across Larkana district.

Brisk electioneering is being witnessed in all parts of NA-200 Larkana-I and PS-11 Larkana City where PPP, GDA and MMA have fielded their heavyweights.

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is facing MMA Sindh president Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, who is also the Sindh general secretary of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on NA-200. Nisar Khuhro’s daughter, Nida Khuhro, is fighting against GDA’s Moazzam Ali Abbasi on PS-11.

Nida Khuhro, on Tuesday, spoke at gatherings of women supporters in different localities. She criticised her opponents for “never advocating Sindh’s rights and instead siding with dictators”.

She claimed that the GDA had a history of opposing women’s participation in different sectors while PPP had the track record of encouraging and promoting the weaker segment of society.

She said this would be the last election in Larkana for PPP opponents, “who will never again even think of contesting an election from here”.

Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro also spoke to GDA and JUI-F supporters at different corner meetings on Monday and Tuesday. He expressed his confidence that people would now come out of the “clandestine moves, tricks and eye-catching slogans of PPP” for mustering support.

He said the masses were inclined to elect him and other GDA candidates to ensure elimination of corruption, injustices, inequality and discrimination.

He said his party and components of the GDA were determined to fight for better education facilities and health services to be provided to everyone without any discrimination.

GDA candidate Moazzam Abbasi told his supporters at different corner meetings that time was ripe for people to tighten noose around PPP leaders and lawmakers who over the last 10 years had ruined Sindh and touched the height of corruption.

He said the living conditions, civic infrastructure and plight of education and health institution spoke volumes of PPP’s performance.

The masses had already evaluated their performance in assemblies, he said.

Maulana Nasir Mehmood Soomro, who is contesting for NA-202 Shahdadkot and is fighting against PPP old guard Aftab Sha’aban Mirani, also spoke to his supporters at various places.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2018

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