PTI trying to woo Sindh nationalists against PPP

Published: January 1, 2019
A file photo of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. PHOTO: Reuters

A file photo of Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. PHOTO: Reuters

HYDERABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) is trying to form a joint front against the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) embattled leadership with Sindh-based political and nationalist parties. The PTI Sindh General Secretary Haleem Adil Shaikh met on Monday the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) General Secretary Ayaz Latif Palijo in Hyderabad and the Sindh United Party’s (SUP) Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah in Jamshoro in this regard.

All the leaders echoed the same complaints against the PPP’s Sindh government.

Palijo invited all political entities to pull together to get rid of the allegedly corrupt PPP rule. “Ziaul Haq didn’t cause as much harm to Sindh as the PPP has caused in the last 10 years.”

He said the PPP formed government in Sindh for the seventh time after the July 25 polls and the last 10 years have witnessed complete misrule in the province.

Conflicting signals

Meanwhile, GDA leader Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi distanced his party from the demand of removing the Sindh government and bringing an in-house change in the Sindh Assembly. Addressing the media after a party meeting in Karachi, Rashdi, who is the brother of Pir Pagara, said, “We respect the mandate of any political party and want every government to complete its tenure.” He went to clarify that the agenda for the party meeting was to prepare for the upcoming local bodies elections and not to derail any government.

‘PPP’s misrule’

On the other hand, Palijo claimed that the magnitude of corruption and bad governance in Sindh is higher than in any other province. He said the government has failed to provide clean drinking water to the people and malnutrition is claiming lives of children in Thar. “The condition is even worse than in Somalia and Ethiopia.” He alleged that in the name of aid for the drought stricken people massive corruption has been done.

Another failure of the PPP’s rule is reflected in the education sector. An overwhelming number of government schools are still without basic facilities. He blamed the existing leadership of PPP for plundering Sindh in the name Benazir Bhutto and playing the Sindh card. However, he asserted, the days of allegedly corrupt rule of the PPP in Sindh are numbered. “The next government in Sindh will be formed by the GDA and the PTI,” he said confidently. The GDA has convened the alliance’s meeting in Karachi on January 8.

He told that he has also discussed the political situation with Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry adding that the GDA stands with the PTI.

He demanded that the federal government should address the shortage of gas, electricity and water in Sindh, and repatriate illegal immigrants living in the province to the countries of their origin. “We want unity of Sindh and control of Sindh’s resources by its people.”

He acknowledged Prime Minister Imran Khan for supporting merit. Palijo requested him to construct a coastal highway from Karachi to Badin.

He said that some PPP’s lawmakers are in contact with their party and that a forward bloc is not out of question. He said the GDA and PTI will together contact MPAs from other parties for government making in Sindh.

Shaikh, at a joint press conference with Palijo, said that all parties are agreeing on one point agenda to launch a drive against corruption of the PPP in Sindh. He said the party’s Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari is no more a political heavyweight. “Rather, he has become a curse for Sindh.”

He argued that the issue of the Kalabagh Dam is being raised to mislead people so that the PPP can get a lifeline by unnerving the province’s populace with the threat of further slash in their water share.

“Sindh has become poorer and Zardari’s cronies like Anwar Majeed have become richer.” He predicted that if the PPP leaders took to the streets to pressurise the government against arresting Zardari and his associates, the people of Sindh will pelt those protesters with stones.

“We will take the constitutional route to get rid of the corrupt PPP Sindh government,” he assured. “We have joined hands on one-point agenda which is corruption mitao, Zardari bhagao [eradicate corruption, make Zardari run away].”

He accused Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for committing white collar crimes.

Speaking to the media in Jamshoro, Jalal Mehmood Shah said the most important agenda of the PTI is its drive against corruption, adding that the agenda of his SUP is also the same. He accused the PPP for its corruption ridden rule in Sindh.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2019.

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