Pitafi steals the PPP’s thunder: Party loyalist hits out at discriminatory practices

Published: June 20, 2012
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MQM and National Peoples Party’s MPAs applaud the 30-minute speech.

MQM and National Peoples Party’s MPAs applaud the 30-minute speech.

KARACHI: 

The Sindh government’s tall claims of development and progress were shattered on Tuesday when a senior member and loyalist of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Sardar Ahmed Ali Khan Pitafi, laid into the government during the budget debate.

“All is not well in Sindh,” Pitafi said. “Can you imagine when we as parliamentarians are suffering at the hands of government, what will be the plight of a common man?”

Pitafi, from Mirpur Mathelo in Ghotki district, made a 30-minute speech in the Sindh Assembly that was marked by resounding approval from several members of the PPP as well as the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and National Peoples Party.

It was a diatribe that few had expected but Pitafi systematically dismissed the government’s many claims. He said he had been silent because of “[Zulfikar Ali] Bhutto sahib and Benazir” but “would not remain quiet anymore.”

Security, development, education and investment came under Pitafi’s radar as he scathingly explained what was going on in his area.

Law and order

Pitafi had a personal point to make. “These people [gesturing towards the front row of government ministers] may have given their sweat to the party. I gave my blood.”

Pitafi’s son was killed during the Musharraf regime.  While he said he didn’t expect justice then, he thought his ‘own government’ would help solve the murder. “When even a goat is killed two or three people are arrested. How can I expect good things from my own government which has not arrested those responsible?”

He also made a reference to Chaudhry Aslam, asking why an operation in Karachi had been “handed to a man whose hands are stained with Rasool Bux Brohi’s blood.”

“Whenever I go to my hometown, I see people staging sit-ins and demonstrating against law enforcement agencies. I want to know where the government’s writ is.”

Whither development

Pitafi questioned why his district – one of the richest in Sindh – was being ignored. According to the MPA, it boasts the Qadirpur and Mari gas fields [one of the major gas reservoirs in Pakistan], the presence of companies like Pak Saudi and Fauji Fertiliser and contributes more than Rs18 billion in taxes every year.  “We have vast gas reservoirs in our district, but our villages are still deprived of this facility. Our requests to provide gas in our villages have been turned down by the government.”

To boot, Pitafi said that after he protested, he “only got a one-kilometre road” in his area.

He asked who he should hold responsible for the inequality. “Why are the officials at the planning and development department excluding our development schemes? We request the chief minister (CM) to let us know if nobody is hearing him. We don’t know who is more powerful than the CM.”

Despite being a resource-rich district, Pitafi complained that “they were not able to construct a school building to house around 450 students.” He said he had also asked the prime minister and had been pleading with the CM for four years.

“Enough is enough; should we expose what the reality is? My voters always ask why I cannot resolve their issue, now I want to inform them how our government treats us.”

He criticised the underground gasification projects. “Dr Samar Mubarakmand has been deputed to execute the project in order to generate electricity from Thar coal. But the government will not get ‘Samar’ or ‘Mubarak’ from this project.”

The third-term MPA praised the government for the NFC award and the 18th amendment, and said he was still very much a PPP loyalist, but repeatedly questioned the discriminatory treatment.  “It is very unfortunate that our rulers are discriminating and giving priority to some MPAs and ministers over others.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Saleem
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:00AM

    We need more people like him.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:08AM

    It is about time that PPP should provide justice and take care of its voters. These independent voices are a welcome sign.

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  • kala_bacha
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:21AM

    Everyone in Sindh along with the rest of the Pakistan knows “All is not well” but I feels sorry for him, this should be his last speech in the assembly and no more future tickets to great Pakistan amusement part “Sindh Assembly” where the current member for last 5 years had done nothing for the people of Sindh or Pakistan. They are pretty good on tabbing the desk or drinking tea in the newly remodeled cafeteria. But still people of my beloved Sindh vote the same people in next election and made them legislator for 5 more years – this the worse part.

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  • observer (UK)
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:49AM

    Well done Mr Pitafi. At last and at least someone from the treasury benches has spoken his conscience. The governance is non existent. The CM is helpless and hopeless but then there is a reason. First, the CM has been rendered powerless by all powerful Mr Zardari and instead Ishrat Ibad is ruling the roost. The development work in Sindh is non existent but then the elected representatives are to blame who are sitting in the provincial assembly just for sake of attending and the funds allocated to the members were un-utlised or underutilised. The law and order situation is dismal. Karachi is bleeding. Billions of rupees are being spent of Rangers but they have not been able to control the situation. Chaudhry Aslam looks like a ruffian. He allegedly takes law into his hands and acts as jury, judge and executioner. Sindh’s capital is at the mercy of an ethnic party whom Mr Zardari is willing to placate them at any cost. This is very unfortunate.

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  • Falcon
    Jun 20, 2012 - 3:12AM

    Well at least someone in the ranks of PPP is standing up for the truth.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 20, 2012 - 4:35AM

    Well said Pitafi.

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  • DB
    Jun 20, 2012 - 4:45AM

    As long as things work on the connection system, their will ALWAYS be inequality.

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  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:08AM

    I think Samar Mubarak is targeted in Sindh time and again and being criticized because of Regionalism . Let him do his work but Regionalism is at play here. I recently met Chinese Engineers and they are working on Coal Gasification and they were of the view that Coal Gasification is a viable project and China foresee this tech in future to provide 30 percent of Chinese Energy needs. Now ordinary people with no Scientific background will tell Scientists that your project could not work. For God’s Sake he may be a Punjabi but he is a sincere of Pakistan and please get out of this ignorance and provincialism for the betterment of Pakistan and let Samar Mubarak do his work.

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  • Shuweikh Haqqani
    Jun 20, 2012 - 6:19AM

    “My voters always ask why I cannot resolve their issue”
    Don’t know why I feel sorry for this guy. That^ question is the worst question any worker can ask his leader. But I figure this guy should have seen it coming when he chose to stand with PPP.

    Anyways, I am happy to see that Sindhi people will not be won over by the used, overused, misused and abused cry of “Jeay Bhutto” anymore. People all over Pakistan should start asking PPP ANP MQM and PMLQ about what they have done for Pakistan over last four years.
    In my opinion, the only two parties that are an option now are PTI and JI. JI because it is a tried and tested party with ZERO corruption and educated leaders, and PTI because of the technocrats they are recruiting.

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  • Jun 20, 2012 - 7:50AM

    Like a true leader! Well said Mr, Pitafi! People like you should stand up and efface the delusions of power of the corrupt PPP leaders.

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  • Sanwal
    Jun 20, 2012 - 8:33AM

    This is election year. Pitafi wants to steel the show in order to inform his voters that he is not responsible for wrongdoings in his area. I wonder why he kept silent about four years and spoke at a time when government is about to send packing. Many other PPP MPAs are frustrated and will follow Pitafis path.

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  • Saqib
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:06AM

    Very well said keep it up, I hope more unknown sincere leaders will come out like you.

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  • bilal
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:54AM

    we all need to stand for a change. i am tired of corrupt leadersRecommend

  • Oopsie!!
    Jun 20, 2012 - 12:45PM

    They criticize..and then still can’t leave the party. Why not? Only once they start leaving, then only party leaders will realize their importance. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS!

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  • Karachiite
    Jun 20, 2012 - 2:32PM

    Good. Speak for your rights.

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  • Jameel ur Rasheed
    Jun 20, 2012 - 3:59PM

    Well someone ask him where was he for more then four years? I bet he doesn’t worry much about his people. he sees his next elections at stake, given the circumstances so he thought it might be good to speak out and make his prescence felt!! the things quoted above don’t arise all of sudden!! Why did he wait for soooo long?

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  • Syme
    Jun 20, 2012 - 5:32PM

    He should join PTI:P

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  • sane voice
    Jun 20, 2012 - 8:27PM

    well Mr. Pitafi let me tell you a couple of reason to your problems……….and I m sure you also know them very well because you are part of the problem.

    when all of the appointments (from the lowest to the top most) are made on political basis and not on professionalism, then what else you expect to happen………you people have destroyed the government machinery..the rot has reached your door step now.

    When your party considers voters are in their pocket, the sense of accountability and vanishes……..the public consider himself a raja of the area…………rather than the servant of the people and responsible for their welfare and development of country. And the your constituents……………if they really are so much concious about their problems and you have so much sympathy with them…………then take a bold step……………either they should boot you out next time or you should resign now as a sincereity of your protest. The problem is that we dont change our ways but want a change in our system.

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  • Tahir Amjad
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:03PM

    Salute to Mr.Pitafi & rquest to ohters to follow the true path setting aside party affiliations.
    Think for Pakistan its peoples and do justice to your voters.

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  • sana Balouch
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:06PM

    salute to you..you really deserve the justice.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 21, 2012 - 10:33AM

    Good omen. Some has finally taken initiative. This is really democracy within the party. Can anyone else in other political party turn up in the same way. I thing no one will have dare

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