HYDERABAD / KARACHI: Hoping to dispel the impression that the people of Sindh were against the new local government system, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is gearing up for its massive public rally in Hyderabad on October 15.
PPP stalwarts like former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, senators Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani and members of the federal and provincial cabinets are expected to address the gathering. Party officials say that the event is being organised to demonstrate that the party’s support among the people of Sindh, especially over its position on the new local government system.
Provincial information minister and outspoken PPP leader Sharjeel Memon, and Sindh Fisheries Minister Zahid Bhurgari told media personnel during their press conferences in Karachi and Hyderabad respectively on Friday that the event will be a “referendum” on the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO).
“The PPP is only party which has roots across the country. Our opponents are trying to make an alliance but will fail as the people of Sindh are with us,” claimed Memon.
“The event will show whether the nation supports the pseudo-nationalists or the PPP, which has been leading them through thick and thin over the past four and a half decades,” said Bhurgari.
The information minister also took a shot at PPP’s main rival, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and accused the party of financially supporting nationalist parties that have vociferously come out against the new local government ordinance. “Nawaz Sharif is trying to create an opposition against the PPP in Sindh. He had tried it in the past as well,” alleged Memon.
The PPP leader observed that some people were criticising the SPLGO without understanding it. The government is open to making changes to the system, said the minister, and added that “we are even ready to walk to a nationalist’s house to talk over the issue”.
Meanwhile Bhurgari, who is also the PPP’s Hyderabad president, said that the party has set up its camps across the province to encourage the people to come to Hyderabad and participate in the event.
Attacks and threats to PPP leaders will not lessen their resolve, said information minister Sharjeel Memon, while referring to grenade attacks on the residences of various PPP leaders. He said that PPP’s jiyalas could likewise respond to such incidents, but “we don’t believe in such politics”.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.