The winds of a forthcoming election swept President Asif Ali Zardari southwards into Rahim Yar Khan on Tuesday, where addressing a public gathering, he said that the government was channelling development projects in South Punjab.
The government, he added, is aware of the growing sense of deprivation amongst the people of the region.
The president, who was speaking at the residence of Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood at Jamaldin Wali, recalled the vision of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and former premier Benazir Bhutto, and reiterated that the government was focusing on less developed areas in pursuit of their vision.
He added that 65 years have gone by yet no government had ever thought of the people of southern Punjab. However, he added, our government has paid special attention to the needs of the region.
Thanking the president for reposing trust in him, Mehmood said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) emulated the federation because it had deep roots in all four provinces of the country, adding that if the party was re-elected, even more development resources would reach the people of the region.
During his visit, President Zardari announced a grant of Rs5 million for the Rahim Yar Khan District Bar Association after his meeting with the president of the association Habib Paris and other lawyers.
Later in the evening, the president visisted Ashraf Sugar Mills Bahawalpur, where he was welcomed by Zaka Ashraf, members of parliament and other party officials. The president was joined by former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, who flew into the city on a special plane, and Makhdoom Shahabuddin during consultations on the upcoming elections and the emerging political situation in southern Punjab.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2013.