HYDERABAD: The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) during its maiden power show in Sindh threw down the gauntlet to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), vowing to bring to an end the latter's 10-year rule.
An unusually high number of people attended the public meeting which was organised in Sukkur on Sunday. At the event, Hurr Jamaat’s spiritual head and president Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi or Pir Pagara made his second appearance at a public meeting in almost six years.
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"The sun of [PPP] Zardari's politics is setting. The GDA will form the next government in Sindh," claimed Pagara. He said the PPP won 2013 general elections by rigging the polls "but we accepted the results for the sake of democracy."
He said the alliance will not allow stealing the people's mandate in the elections of 2018. Pagara, who also leads the GDA, informed the gathering that many political figures are joining the coalition.
He criticised the PPP for failing to bring Benazir Bhutto’s killers to justice. The functional league's leader, whose party is an ally of PML-N in the centre, also criticised the way the federal government handled the sit-in protest in Islamabad.
"I firmly believe that those who changed the clause about Allah's beloved Prophet (PBUH) will not remain in the government for too long." He pressed for a negotiated solution instead of employing force to end the sit-in.
Pagara also spoke about the problems faced by farmers and blamed the provincial government for their financial woes. He praised the Pakistan Army for safeguarding the country from terrorists and sacrificing their lives in the fight against terror.
"Enemies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of India are behind the conspiracy between Zardari and Altaf Hussain," alleged Ayaz Latif Palijo, GDA's general secretary and head of Qaumi Awami Tehreek party.
He said that the people of Sindh brought PPP into power again and again through a political struggle and making countless sacrifices "and Zardari keeps telling the people that they are indebted to Bhuttos. Is this debt a loan taken from Hindu money lenders which can never be repaid?"
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Palijo also warned the MQM against even planning to divide Sindh along ethnic lines. Former home minister Zulfiqar Mirza blamed Zardari and his sister MNA Faryal Talpur for punishing their political opponents in rural Sindh by stopping the supply of irrigation water to their land.
"The people want to bring about changes through ballots but unfortunately the rulers rig elections with the help of the police," he alleged. MNA Ghulam Murtaza Laghari accused the provincial government of auctioning public sector jobs and contracts for money.
PML-N MPA and former chief minister Sindh Arbab Ghulam Rahim announced that he is quitting the party. "Nawaz Sharif is a selfish person," he alleged. Rahim held Sharif and Zardari equally responsible for corruption and bad governance in Sindh. "Soon the people who would blame us for Benazir’s murder will know who her real murderers are."
Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi, former defence minister and chief minister Sindh Syed Ghaus Ali Shah, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Dr Safdar Abbassi, Shaharyar Mehar and other GDA leaders also spoke at the occasion.