LAHORE: Acting President and Senate Chairman Yousuf Raza Gilani says they (PPP) are ready to discuss political matters and it is up to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to decide with whom it wants to talk.

Gilani stressed the need to bring all stakeholders on-board to resolve the national issues.

“The ball is in the PTI court to decide with whom it wants to hold parleys,” he said in a reference to PTI founder’s statements that he would negotiate with the establishment and not politicians.

Mr Gilani was talking to media after inaugurating a reverse osmosis water filtration plant in Lahore on Sunday.He said that the country was facing instability and all stakeholders needed to sit together and devise a plan for steering the country out of this instability phase. “All politicians are required to be on one page,” he emphasized.

Calling for a dialogue and unity to make decisions in people’s interest, he added that political instability had led to economic instability.

Mr Gilani, who is a senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, said that his party believed in public welfare and political dialogue and had always preferred to adopt a conciliatory approach to address national issues.

He said that no PPP leader ever said that the party was not with the incumbent government. Rather, it’s supporting the government in all matters and would continue to support its welfare initiatives.

He said negotiations were going on with the PML-N for joining the government and a decision to become a part of federal and Punjab cabinets would be taken after evaluating the available space.

He said the PPP would also provide suggestions to make the upcoming budget pro-masses, especially farmers, youth and labourers.

He said that his party had been supporting the government to provide relief to the people. The acting president highlighted that as a member of the United Nations, Pakistan was committed to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which was aimed at ensuring “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030.

He appreciated those who were working to provide clean drinking water to the masses and sharing responsibility for the state.

He said that the provision of clean water was a global issue, which needed to be addressed on a priority basis with global support.

Responding to a question, he said that Pakistan had the capability to address threats on its eastern and western borders, as well as counter terrorism and extremism with national unity.Addressing a gathering of parliamentarians and other prominent political figures in Multan on Sunday, Mr Gilani said economic prosperity was linked to political stability in the country and the condition of the people could not be improved without economic stability.

He said PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had presented a 10-point economic agenda and the current government should work on the agenda to provide relief to the masses.

He said he would talk to the federal and provincial governments for giving big city status to Multan and completing developmental projects, including ring road and other projects in Multan.

He thanked the people of Multan for electing his son Ali Kasim Gilani as MNA with a big margin when all the opponents had united against them. He also highlighted the widespread benefits of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in South Punjab and advocated for its expansion.

He said a discussion had already begun with the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to provide facilities for education, health, and transportation in South Punjab.

Several parliamentarians and local PPP leadership including MNA Syed Ali Kasim Gilani, Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmed Khan, Maher Irshad Siyal, PPP general secretary Rao Sajid, MPAs Syed Ali Haider Gilani, Mian Kamran Abdullah, Rana Iqbal Siraj, Wasif Mazhar Raan were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2024

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