LAHORE: Although the general elections are apparently not expected in the near future, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to prepare a new party manifesto as well as invite applications for award of tickets for the national and provincial assemblies.
PPP-P Information Secretary Shazia Marri said here on Wednesday the party thinks the current national circumstances were similar to those in the early 1970s when the PPP’s founding chairman had given the slogan of “roti, kapra aur makaan”, adding the central executive committee (CEC) has decided to chalk out a new election manifesto in accordance with the situation.
She promised to share the final decision on the issue on Thursday (tomorrow) after a meeting of the core committee of the party. Ms Marri was talking to the media after a meeting of the CEC, which discussed a barrage of issues – inflation to unemployment, foreign loans, higher tariffs of power and gas utilities, shortage of fertiliser, the current political situation and various strategies to oust the incumbent government as well as possibilities of cooperation with other opposition parties.
The MNA said the CEC also discussed the presidential reference pending adjudication by the Supreme Court for over a decade to review the apex court’s decision of convicting the first elected prime minister of the country in the Kasuri murder case.
Former National Assembly deputy speaker Faisal Karim Kundi told the media that the CEC also decided to invite applications for award of party tickets for the next general elections so that the selected candidates could begin their campaigns on time.
All these decisions, however, would be finalised after a discussion in a meeting of the core committee to be held on Thursday (today), he said. He further said the CEC also discussed cooperation with other opposition parties for a likely no-trust motion against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.
Ms Marri told a questioner that ideally there should be no role for any non-political individual or institution in active politics. However, she said, the PTI had during its opposition days been pointing to the role of non-political actors by referring to an “umpire” and its parliamentarians repeatedly claiming they had come to power with someone’s support.
Responding to a query about the long march on Islamabad by the Pakistan Democratic Movement in March, she said her party was in favour of taking some step for the ouster of the PTI government, immediately after the presentation of the mini-budget.
“The people suffering at the hands of the record inflation and joblessness cannot wait for three months. The opposition parties will have to sit together putting aside their petty differences to rid the people of the cruel government at the earliest.”
Meanwhile, at least 60 local government representatives as well as notables belonging to different political parties from various Punjab districts announced joining the PPP in the presence of the party’s Punjab president Raja Parvez Ashraf, general secretary Syed Hassan Murtaza and Sindh ministers Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani.
Those who joined the party belonged to Kasur, Okara, Sahiwal, Multan, Vehari, Jhang and Layyah districts.
Mr Murtaza hoped the new entrants would play their role in strengthening the party in their respective districts.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2022