BAHAWALPUR: “Tahirul Qadri should act like a brave man. He should come out and meet people. the Federation is not a toy to play with. But unfortunately, Qadri wants to play with Pakistan like a toy,” Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Tuesday.
He was addressing a press-conference at the residence of PPP’s Bahawalpur district information secretary Saleem Bhatti.
He said the PPP leaders and workers had rendered sacrifices for tha nation. They were not hiding in the name of security and had instead reached out to the people and initiated a process of reconciliation with the opposition.
Answering a question about the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India gas pipeline, Kaira said that India had withdrawn from the agreement due to international pressure. However, he added, that Russia had now come forward to support the project.
Once completed, this 350-kilometer gas pipeline would help end fuel crisis in Pakistan.
Kaira resolved to redress the citizens’ grievances.
He said his party would never support dictatorship in the country or let anti-democratic.
He said that the PPP government had faced many challenges when it took over power in 2008. Its reconciliation policies, he said, had helped it overcome many crises and win its victories at various fronts.
Kaira said that terrorism and corruption were the major hurdles in the progress of a nation.
“The PPP does not believe in confrontation. We respect all the national institutions and want to work in harmony.”
Responding to a question about corruption and price-hike, the federal minister said that 65 per cent corruption in the country had been reported from the Punjab.
He said besides the annual budget allocated to the provinces, an additional Rs1,000 billion had been given to the provinces after the devolution of powers. Of this, Rs500 billion was given to the Punjab alone.
He regretted that the Punjab government had shown a bias towards development project in Lahore by spending all its resources on projects in Lahore.
He said the PPP had substantially raised the wages of government employees. A large number of contractual employees had been regularised, he added.
He said the NFC Award and the devolution of powers to the provinces were proofs of the PPP’s commitment to its manifesto.
Answering a question about President Asif Ali Zardari’s two offices, Kaira said that the party office was an honorary post. The law, he said, prohibited the president from holding another office where he received salary. He said the president had done no wrong by keeping the party office.
A journalist told the minister that Radio Pakistan, Bahawalpur, was facing financial crisis and was on the verge of collapse. The minister called the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Director General Murtaza Solangi and directed him to look into the matter.
He assured the gathering that the issues would soon be resolved.
Kaira is expected to address 40 meetings, lawyers’ conventions and civil society gatherings. He will also meet the representatives of the People’s Student Federation (Bahawalpur chapter).
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT BY OWAIS JAFRI FROM MULTAN
Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2012.
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