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Zardari meets Gilani in Multan, discusses Seraiki province

November 16, 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari exchanges views with parliamentarians and notables of South Punjab during his visit to Multan on Friday. Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Federal Minister Makhdoom Amin Faheem are also seen in the picture. – Photo by Online

MULTAN: Assuaging reservations of the former prime minister and senior vice-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari visited him in his home town of Multan on Friday.

The president was received at the local airport by Yousuf Raza Gilani, his sons MNA Syed Abdul Qadir Gilani and Syed Ali Musa Gilani, Federal Textile Minister and PPP South Punjab President Makhdoom Shahabuddin, MPAs Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar and Syed Ahmad Mujtaba Gilani besides other senior officials.

The Gilani family has been under pressure as Abdul Qadir Gilani complained of threatening notices to him and his father by the FIA in connection with the Haj scandal of 2010.

Sources told Dawn that with no chance of contesting the next elections unless the Supreme Court reviewed its judgment, which led to his sacking and disqualification in the NRO implementation case, Yousuf Raza Gilani was not only disturbed about his political future but also about his sons who were facing corruption charges in various cases.

Talking to Dawn, a senior PPP minister said on Thursday: “This is simply beyond my understanding why the FIA which by all means falls under the administrative control of our government is haunting the Gilani family. It simply looks absurd to say the least.”

He said Interior Minister Rehman Malik could be the best person to say why the FIA was after the Gilanis.

Later on during his meeting with President Zardari on Friday, the former PM proposed tabling a bill in the National Assembly for establishing South Punjab as a separate province. He hoped that the bill would be passed by the lower house of the parliament. “If not, it would at least unmask the faces opposing the demand of the people of South Punjab,” he added.

The former premier thanked the president for paying a visit to his home town.

During the visit to Multan, the president was accompanied by federal ministers, including Qamar Zaman Kaira, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Syed Khursheed Shah, Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari.