HYDERABAD: While standing on President Asif Ali Zardari’s turf on Thursday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif took the Pakistan Peoples Party-led (PPP) government to task for what he said was depriving its own supporters of the developments taking place elsewhere in the country.
Nawaz squarely accused Zardari’s party for Sindh not being able to attain its full potential and assured the people of the province that if he comes to power, development here would be at par with that in the Punjab.
“We will make Pakistan one,” Nawaz declared on Thursday at a public meeting in Qazi Ahmed taluka of Shaheed Benazirabad. “We will make it one through roads, motorways, industry and development. Sindh will not lag behind Punjab and Balochistan and Khyber (Pakhtunkhwa) will no longer be backward.”
While speaking of a network of motorways, Nawaz promised one that would connect Karachi with Punjab, Sindh with Balochistan.
Former MPA Bahadur Khan Dahiri who organised the event, claimed that over 20,000 people had attended the gathering, which included musical performances, including one from famous Sindhi singer Laila Latif.
Nawaz went on to compare the standard of education in the public sector schools of the two provinces pointing out how Sindhis are being deprived of a quality education. He said that the Danish Schools System in the Punjab should be introduced in Sindh. The PML-N chief announced that after coming to power he would introduce the Punjab laptop scheme in Sindh and would equip all the schools in the province with computer libraries. “The children of farmers have a right to better education than one being offered in the government schools in Sindh,” he said.
Nawaz blamed the government for not doing serious work for the flood-affected families and farmers. In Sakrand taluka alone, more than 11,000 acres agriculture land was still submerged. “The small farmers who used to give alms to the poor are now themselves subsisting on [charity],” he remarked.
While not directly criticising the recent by-elections that were denounced by political parties and civil society organisations as unfair, Nawaz did take on PPP’s candidate for a Sindh Assembly seat, Wahida Shah Bukhari, for assaulting the polling staff in Tando Muhammad Khan. “If any of my candidates behaved in a similar manner, I would have cancelled her basic membership from the party.”
Speaking about an incident where a digital satellite vehicle belonging to a private television channel was set on fire here on Wednesday, the PML-N chief said that it was probably in reaction to that channel’s coverage of Bukhari’s antics earlier on. “The perpetrators of the crime are not the friends of people, democracy or the PPP.”
PML-N (Sindh) president, Ghaus Ali Shah, and other leaders, including Ali Akbar Rind and Bahadur Khan Dahiri also spoke on the occasion. Nawaz was accompanied at the event by Senator Pervez Rashid and Saleem Zia, among others.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2012.
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