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President Asif Ali Zardari. — File photo

KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari has categorically stated that the elections would be free, fair and transparent and no-one would be able to cast bogus vote. Presiding officers will verify the CNIC with the electoral lists carrying photographs of voters before issuing ballot papers.

Talking to PPP legislators and office-bearers from Matiari, Badin, Tharparkar and Kamber Shahdadkot districts during meetings at the Bilawal House, he observed that this time elections would be tough, different from 2008 polls which the party easily won because of the sympathy wave following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, its Sindh chapter president Syed Qaim Ali Shah and General Secretary Taj Haider also attended the meetings.

Mr Shah spoke of characteristics of different constituencies and the party position and past election result of each constituency.

He also gave details of development works in different districts, jobs provided and beneficiaries of the Benazir Bhutto income support programme.

The lawmakers and officials called on PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in the afternoon. Syed Qaim Ali Shah and NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza attended the meeting.

Mr Bilawal Zardari asked them to keep in touch with the masses and prepare for the elections.

He said the PPP had completed development schemes and provided jobs on merit and had implemented a large part of its manifesto despite financial constraints and adverse law and order situation.

“The PPP government delivers and meets its promises,” he said, adding that a “free and independent media is the cornerstone of democracy”.

Besides the chief minister, Taj Haider, Ayaz Soomro, Lal Bux Bhutto and Shagufta Jumani attended the meetings.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman and Pir Amjad Ali Shah attended the meeting with legislators from Matiari district and Mir Amir Ali Khan Magsi, Nazir Ahmed Bughio and Mir Nadir Magsi with those from Kambar-Shahdadkot district.

Dr Fehmida Mirza, Ghulam Ali Nizamani, Senator Khatu Mal, Sharjeel Memon, Mahesh Malani, Gul Mohammad Lot, Hasnain Mirza, Bashir Ahmed Khan, Dr Sikandar Ali Mandro, M. Nawaz Chandio and Gyan Chand attended the meeting with lawmakers from Badin and Tharparkar districts.