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Politicking gains momentum ahead of polls

Published Nov 30, 2012 11:01pm

PPP-jalsa-APP-670
President PPP Punjab Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo addressing a convention of party workers on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Pakistan People’s Party. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30: With the general election approaching fast, the political temperature in the country is rising steadily as leaders are making fiery speeches to score points and win public support.

This was for all to see on Friday when leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party accused the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz of being involved in corruption. They said they would win the election.

Responding to the allegations, the PML-N leaders said that after winning the election they would recover the money “plundered by the PPP”.

The PPP leaders observed the ‘46th founding day’ of their party under which various programs and meetings were held across the country. At these events they delivered fiery speeches, accusing the opposition party of indulging in corruption in Punjab.

Speaking at a function held at the residence of Prime Minister’s Adviser on Human Rights Mustafa Khokhar, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, the chief of Punjab chapter of the PPP, said his party would defeat the PML-N even in the latter’s stronghold of Punjab.

“We will expose misdeeds of the Sharif brothers and they will face defeat in the polls,” he remarked.

On his part, PML-N leader Shahbaz Sharif accused President Asif Ali Zardari and his “cronies” of massive corruption and asked them to return what he called the “plundered wealth”.

Speaking at the launch of a development project in Rawalpindi, he said: “If we win the next elections we will ensure the recovery of looted wealth from present rulers.”

Baitul Maal chairman Zamurad Khan spoke on the same lines at a founding day function and said Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif had broken all “records of corruption” in Punjab.

The PPP held functions in major cities to observe its 46th founding day.

In Islamabad, the main event was hosted by Mustafa Khokhar outside his residence which was attended by a large number of PPP workers. Mr Wattoo was the chief guest on the occasion. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira was also present.

Meanwhile, in his message for the day President Zardari urged all democratic forces to gear up for the elections. He said elections would be held in a fair, free and transparent manner.

“Democracy survived and flourished on the sweat, blood and tears of political workers and it is because of their sacrifices that dictatorship has not been able to take roots in Pakistan,” the president said.

“The founding day celebrations this year are taking place at a time when democratically-elected government is nearing completion of its term after having waded through a sea of vicious campaigns,” the message said. “It is an occasion for celebrations and rejoicing as well as for introspection.

“Let us pledge once again today that we will continue to work for strengthening democratic institutions as envisioned by Benazir Bhutto and for which she laid down her life.

“Bhuttoism is the name of an ideology that lives and will live on to empower the people and strengthen democracy and democratic institutions and to serve the masses.”

Recounting the achievements of the PPP-led government, the president said these included restoration of unanimous constitution of 1973, opening the doors of political reforms for the first time in over a century, amendments to the FCR, empowering parliament, strengthening democracy through political reconciliation, taking the militants head on and launching a massive poverty alleviation programme, the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). “These are some of the great victories and the people of Pakistan can be genuinely proud of them,” he said.

Paying tribute to political workers, he said the courageous and devoted political workers were the pillars of the political process and the nation. They had never wavered in their quest for a modern, progressive and democratic Pakistan.