LAHORE, March 23: Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi says the PML will re-elect Gen Musharraf president-in-uniform to ensure the continuity of his policies which saved the country from default and being tagged as a terrorist state. Addressing a workers convention here on Thursday, he said the PML wanted the country to continue to progress under the leadership of Gen Musharraf. He said no matter whether somebody liked the idea or not, the PML would choose President Musharraf for another term.

The chief minister’s speech set the tone, and most of the speakers who addressed after him, including the prime minister, praised the leadership qualities of the president and said he was the leader of the PML.

Pervaiz Elahi said it was because of the policies and strategies of the president and the prime minister that the country was able to spend billions of rupees on education and health.

He said President Musharraf was more tolerant in his attitude compared to the so-called democratic leaders of the past.

Without naming anyone but leaving no doubt that he was referring to the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the chief minister said he had dismissed the opposition parties’ governments of Balochistan and the NWFP within six months of their installation. In comparison, he said, Gen Musharraf had been tolerating the MMA government for the past three years despite a difference of opinion.

He said a strong PML had always been in the interest of the country. He recalled that when the PML got weaker a leader, an obvious reference to Mr Bhutto, got an opportunity to disintegrate the country. The nation would never forgive such a leadership, he said.

He recalled the role of the Muslim League in the creation of Pakistan. He was all praise for the Sindh Assembly which was the first legislature to adopt a resolution in favour of Pakistan. Similarly, he said, Balochistan also decided to go with Pakistan. The NWFP took a decision for accession to Pakistan through a referendum.

He said the PML was working well in the provinces at present. He believed that the country would make progress under the leadership of President Musharraf. A resolution moved by him lauded the services of those who had laid their lives for Pakistan.

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