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LAHORE: In what may be construed as its tough stance on the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the PPP says it can no more give a free hand to the government.

“The masses are suffering at the hands of the government as inflation has been registered at a record high of 40pc during the six months of the PTI government. The rulers drop petrol or gas, medicine prices or other bombs on the poor. The situation has reached a point that the government can no more be given a free hand,” Punjab PPP president Qamar Zaman Kaira said during a media talk here on Tuesday. Aslam Gill, Hassan Murtaza, Usman Malik, Asim Bhatti and others were also present.

Talking to the journalists at the residence of Azizur Rehman Chan, Mr Kaira warned the government against considering itself as strong enough as it had majority of only a few votes while its allies are fed up of its policies and (with their help) the opposition might oust it anytime.

Complaining that the government was targeting the PPP, he said the party was tolerating the government only in the larger national interest of the country that had not come out of the war clouds yet and unity and harmony were the need of the time. He said the PPP could not be browbeaten with the accountability threat as it had been facing accountability process during various regimes.

“The PPP and PML-N are two separate political entities with separate manifestoes and they are showing unity only on certain issues which have caused concerns among the ruling PTI.”

Explaining PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s statement about the failure in fully implementing the Charter of Democracy (CoD), Mr Kaira said almost 90pc of the 2006 agreement signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had been enforced and only a few points were left unattended. He said both the PPP and PML-N had agreed to reemphasize the CoD.

Responding to a query, the PPP leader said he could claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan didn’t read the CoD that’s why he was criticising the document. He asked Mr Khan to explain what relief measures his government had taken so far for the masses instead of indulging in abuse of the opposition.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019