HYDERABAD: PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has voiced hope that his party would vanquish the ruling PML-N in both the March 2018 Senate elections and the 2018 National Assembly elections.
“I know that you [the PML-N] are waiting for March . But I will not let you win the Senate,” Zardari said on Wednesday at a public gathering in Sindh’s Badin district where PML-N’s former Sindh president Ismail Rahu announced joining the PPP.
The PML-N, which currently has 26 senators, is expected to take over the chairmanship of the upper house in next year’s elections. The Senate’s top position is currently held by the PPP which is the majority party in the upper house with 27 senators.
“God willing, we will win the Senate and [later] the National Assembly [in general election]. And then the rule will be restored to the poor people of Pakistan,” said Zardari.
The PPP supremo reiterated that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s April 20 verdict in the Panamagate case, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would have to leave his office. “You [Nawaz] will have to go. [It may take] 15 days, two months or three months. But you have to go,” he added.
The PPP leader blamed Sharif for what he said stopping Sindh from producing its own electricity while subjecting the province to water and gas shortages as well as power outages.
Pointing out measures that the PPP’s Sindh government was taking for agriculture, Zardari said Sharif was insensitive to the plight of the poor and the peasants, adding that Sharif did not realise that 70% of the population of Pakistan was dependent on rural economy for their survival. “Nawaz Sharif hates [common] people. He dislikes these poor people and I don’t understand why.”
Zardari then criticised Imran Khan’s PTI in the same breath, saying “[the] bat [that represents the PTI as its election symbol] is oblivious of what the poor people want”.
Zardari, who takes credit for laying the groundwork for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), accused Sharif of restricting benefits of the projects to himself, his family and his associates.
“He is unable to understand what the CPEC’s concept is. He doesn’t know that it was aimed at ending deprivations of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – to give ownership to the deprived people, so that the federation was not harmed.”
The PPP leader – whose party is now disparaged as a regional party by political opponents after its humiliating electoral defeat in all provinces except for Sindh in the 2013 general election – hoped for a triumph across Pakistan in 2018.
“God willing, I will give you a government in Punjab. I will go to Balochistan as well. The people [in Balochistan] are calling me. Their hearts have been broken. They say Mian Sahib is unable to see their problems,” he said.
Earlier, Zardari welcomed Rahu in the PPP, recalling his father and iconic peasant leader late Fazil Rahu’s cooperation with the PPP during a movement for restoration of democracy in the 1980s.