SUKKUR: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has an opportunity to put on a display of political strength like its rivals, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). It has directed all its MPAs and MNAs to bring at least 10,000 people from their districts for the fourth death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto on December 27.
President Asif Ali Zardari and the co-chairman of the PPP, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Prime Minster Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani are expected to address the rally.
Word has it from political pundits and journalists in rural Sindh that the PPP has changed the venue from President Camp House in Naudero to the open space in front of the mausoleum of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his family, so that they can show that their vote bank is intact.
The party leaders have told the organisers to make food and travel arrangements for their supporters.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who runs the party in Sindh, was at Garhi Khuda Bux to oversee the arrangements. The deputy commissioner of Larkana, Abdul Aleem Lashari, told him that around 6,000 policemen and 1,000 Rangers personnel, women police, traffic police, and members of the bomb disposal squad will be deployed in Naudero and Garhi Khuda Bux on the day.
Shah visited the mausoleum and offered Fateha with the local bodies minister, Agha Siraj Durrani, and law minister, Ayaz Soomro.
While talking to journalists, Qaim Ali Shah said that “hundreds of thousands” of people would attend the rally.
He criticised Mian Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, the chiefs of the PML-N and PTI, for doing nothing for Pakistan or Sindh. “The PPP vote bank is very much intact,” he said.
The return of President Asif Ali Zardari is a slap in the face of the people who were spreading rumours that he would not return, said Shah.
While referring to any arrests in the Benazir assassination case, he said that some people who were involved had been nabbed but the others were out of the country. Efforts were being made to arrest them. He alleged that the Punjab government was not cooperating with them.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 22nd, 2011.
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