Former president Asif Ali Zardari addressing the rally.—Dawn
Former president Asif Ali Zardari addressing the rally.—Dawn

BADIN: Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday claimed that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan might not be able to complete its five-year term because of what the former president described as its wrong policies.

He was addressing a public meeting organised to mark the 32nd death anniversary of peasant leader Mohammad Fazil Rahu in Rahuki.

Mr Zardari claimed that some people were against him because they considered him an obstacle in their plans for rolling back the 18th Amendment.

PPP leader blames PTI govt for economic crisis, price hike

He said conspiracies were being hatched against the PPP and the rights of people. But, he added, people of Sindh were politically mature and they could understand such tactics.

He criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insarf (PTI) government for the current price hike in the country, saying that the rulers had increased the prices of oil, gas and other utilities which had made the life of the poor difficult.

Calling Mr Khan ‘an accidental prime minister’, the PPP co-chairman said everyone in the country knew how the PTI came into power through a ‘fake mandate’. He said both PM Khan and other PTI leaders did not know how to govern the country. “They had neither come from the people, nor will they go to them after the end of their government,” he added.

Mr Zardari held the PTI government responsible for the economic crisis in the country, saying that galloping inflation had made the lives of people miserable.

He, however, said that people should not be terrified by what he called the misrule of the PTI government, adding that the Sindh government would create jobs and work for the welfare of the people.

Rejecting allegations of corruption levelled against him and other leaders of the PPP, Mr Zardari said all conspiracies being hatched against the Sindh government would be foiled. Such concocted charges were giving even more popularity to the PPP, he added.

He warned those elements who he said were trying to push the PPP against the wall, saying that he would not be in a position to stop enraged people if they started showing their reaction.

Without naming anyone, the former president said those who embezzled money collected from people in the name of charity would soon be exposed.

Mr Zardari paid tribute to Fazil Rahu and said like former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and his late father Hakim Ali Zardari, the late peasant leader also worked for the rights of people. He said Fazil Rahu was assassinated by anti-democratic forces.

He said he had managed to convince Mohammad Ismail Rahu, son of Fazil Rahu, to join the PPP and for this he appreciated efforts made by local trader Kaka Kishanchand Adwani. The thinking of the late PPP leaders and Fazil Rahu was the same, he said, adding that they all fought for the rights of people.

Mr Zardari said he travelled to Rahuki by road and witnessed great development activities in the areas that he passed through. The Sindh government would build more roads, water channels and universities in the area, he added.

The former president appreciated the security forces of the country, saying that they were rendering great sacrifices for the defence of the motherland.

He claimed that the PPP federal government had remained successful in stabilising the country’s economy during its term. It was the PPP government which had openly apologised to the people of Balochistan for injustices with them, he added.

Political acumen

In his address, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah criticised the PTI’s federal government and said it lacked political acumen. He alleged that the federal government had stopped releasing the due share of water to Sindh at a time when some areas of the province were facing a drought-like situation.

He urged the PTI government to convene a meeting of the Council of Common Interests to discuss the water and gas issues.

Without naming federal Minister Dr Fehmida Mirza, Mr Shah asked her to raise the real issues of Badin and other parts of Sindh. He claimed that despite all odds the Sindh government was trying its best to provide all facilities to people in the province.

The chief minister said all conspiracies against the Sindh government would be foiled and those trying to topple it would face humiliation.

PPP leader Nisar Ahmed Khuhro claimed that the PTI had miserably failed to smoothly run the affairs of the government. He alleged that the PTI was making undemocratic moves to bring about change in Sindh.

Sindh Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu said that his father fought for the rights of people and sacrificed his life for the purpose.

He said followers of military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq were still hatching conspiracies against the democratic process in the country.

PPP MNA Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur, Mohammad Aslam Rahu, MPA Taj Mohammad Mallah and others also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2019

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