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SUKKUR, March 13: Former National Assembly speaker and leader of the PML-N Ilahi Bux Soomro has said the elections held in 2002 and 2008 were rigged but the forthcoming general elections may be fair and transparent.

He was speaking to reporters at the Jacobabad Press Club on Wednesday.

He said former federal finance minister Hafeez Shaikh was expected to be nominated by the PPP as prime minister of the interim government but he had no experience as administrator.

He alleged that the present PPP government had broken all records of corruption in the country.

Commenting on the situation in Balochistan, he said: “America wants freedom of Balochistan to occupy the Gawadar port and to attack Iran.”

He said incidents like Badami Bagh were a conspiracy to defame the country and no such attacks should take place in future.

He said he and PPP MNA Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani would contest on NA-208 in the upcoming general elections. He said he would contest against kings (Jakhranis) of Jacobabad.

He said that if the PML-N allowed Sardar Manzoor Khan Panhwar to contest on PS-13 Garhi Khero and Mohammad Aslam Abro on PS-14 Jacobabad, the party would definitely defeat the PPP with a big margin.

According to Mr Soomro, Muhammad Aslam Abro should also contest election because he was not involved in any corruption in the past nor was there any charge-sheet issued to him by the party.

Mr Abro has recently joined the PML-N after quitting the PPP.

He said elected public representatives were responsible for the devastation suffered by Jacobabad in recent floods and the district was now giving a look of ruins because of neglect and corruption.

He said there were no differences between him and his nephew, former acting prime minister Muhammad Mian Soomro, on any issue.

‘Most corrupt govt’

Former governor of Sindh and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Mamnoon Hussain, has said the present government is the most corrupt in the country’s chequered history.

Addressing a reception hosted in his honour by former district coordination officer of Sukkur and PML-N leader Shafique Ahmed Khoso in Din Pur village near Thull on Wednesday, he said that ill-advised policies of the present government had destroyed the Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan Railways and corruption was rife in almost all government institutions.

He said the PML-N had recommended three names for caretaker prime minister after consultation with opposition parties, which included Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Justice (retd) Shakirullah Jan and Rasool Bux Palejo.

Some forces, he said, did not want elections on time.

These elements also included international forces and suicide bomb attacks and acts of terrorism were directed towards that end, he said.

He said that Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G. Ebrahim was a trustworthy and honest person who wanted to hold elections in a free, fair and transparent manner and on time.

About Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline accord recently signed by President Asif Ali Zardari, he said that it was an old deal on which both the countries had mutually agreed along time ago.

Why the accord was not signed at that time and was signed at a time when President Zardari was nearing conclusion of his term as president, he said.

He criticised President Zardari and said that he and his coterie had sucked the country dry and destroyed all institutions during last five years in the name of reconciliation.

They would be held accountable for their sins, he said.

He said the ruling party had done nothing for the welfare of people who faced massive problems even this day. The rulers would not be able to run election campaigns in their constituencies in the elections, he said.

Former speaker of National Assembly and senior leader of PML-N, Ellahi Bux Soomro, said that after coming to power, the PML-N government would reopen murder case of former president of Hindu Panchayat Jacobabad Sudam Chand and take action against culprits involved in his killing.

He alleged that Jakhranis, including Babul Khan Jakhrani and Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, had occupied government plots where they had built houses, shops and markets.