The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Huqooq-e-Sindh march on Saturday set off from Ghotki district with hard-hitting speeches from its leadership, bashing the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for “plundering” the resources of the province.
The march, led by PTI Senior Vice Chairman and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, was welcomed by party supporters in Ubauro, Daharki, Mirpur Mathelo, Panu Aqil and other towns on its way to Karachi. The PTI leaders addressed the march in Sukkur.
Incidentally, a young local leader of the PTI from Ghotki, Sardar Mir Iftikhar Loond, fell from a moving container truck and reportedly broke his leg. Qureshi said that he had been shifted to Karachi for medical treatment.
“[How come] a party, which has been robbing Sindh, is telling the people of Pakistan that it will provide a new leadership in the form of Bilawal [Bhutto Zardari] and that it will offer solution for the country’s problems,” Qureshi wondered.
He said that the people of Pakistan knew very well that “you are in power in Sindh for the last 15 years and have failed to uplift the lives of the people and cannot develop the province … what message are you sending” across the country. “Fifteen years is not a small time,” he added.
Qureshi believed that the people of Sindh were dismayed with the PPP’s rule. “Punjab was once a stronghold of the PPP but a recent survey reveals that only 5% people of Punjab want to vote for this party in the 2023 elections.”
The foreign minister argued that the popularity of the PPP had also plunged in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) where, he said, the people were increasingly backing the PTI.
The PTI leader contended that the people had given several chances to the PPP leadership to rule the country, but all those opportunities of serving the nation were wasted. He reminded the people of Sindh that their forefathers had struggled for the creation of Pakistan and that it was obligatory for them to strive for peace, stability and progress of the country.
He blamed the PPP for adopting a carrot-and-stick approach in the province, saying that the people who resisted the party’s wrongdoings were subjected to cruel suppression and the others were bought off by the party’s ill-gotten wealth.
“For how long Sindh’s people will keep bowing before them. The time has come to make a decision.”
Read PTI Karachi rally ready to roll from Ghotki
He emphasised that the PTI could provide an alternate leadership which would help bring about a change in the province. However, he believed, that the change had to be preceded by the political approach of the people of Sindh, who had continuously voted for the PPP for the last 15 years.
The senior PTI vice chairman praised the party’s provincial assembly members (MPAs) in Sindh for fighting for the rights of the province “even though they are seldom allowed to speak” in the Sindh Assembly.
He reiterated that the Centre wanted to help the people of Sindh get better health services through the health card scheme but the provincial PPP government had been creating hindrances. He told the participants that the march would reach Karachi on March 6.
Speaking on the occasion, Ports and Shipping Minister Ali Zaidi accused the Sindh government of destroying the health and education systems, water supply, law and order and infrastructure in the province.
“The rulers have become rich by embezzling public funds but all the blame is shifted to the federal government,” he said. “The PPP is responsible for the shortage of wheat and urea,” he said, directly accusing “a mafia headed by PPP’s Co-chairman Asif Zardari” for the situation.
Referring to the killings of five persons of the Bhand community by armed men of Zardari community in Nawabshah last week, the minister asked why the PPP’s leadership did not visit the victims like they reached out to the victims in other provinces.
He compared the education system of K-P and Punjab with that of Sindh, bemoaning that the latter’s standard seemed much lower. “Though 5,000 schools are being closed in Sindh, the provincial government is buying school furniture at triple the market rate,” he said.
Zaidi asserted that Sindh needs change through a revolution. “The colour of our land is red. The colours of Ajarak and Topi are red. The colour of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (RA) is read. And, the colour of the revolution is also red.”
Other PTI’s leaders also addressed the march.
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