Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has on Sunday reached Karachi along with Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari after his successful Punjab visit.
During his stay in Islamabad, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has successful meetings with Punjab Ten districts; District Faisalabad and City Faisalabad, Kasur, Nankana Sahib, Gujrat, Lahore, Okara, PakPattan, Chakwal and Bhakkar.
He has directed party legislators to raise the issues of the farming community over which the farmers in Punjab have been agitating for quite sometime.
The PPP chairman met party leaders in Punjab and issued orders regarding party policy in local government elections.
Participants of Punjab’s districts expressed grave concern over the plight of farmers in Punjab and stressed the need for evolving a strategy to rescue the farmers from starvation at the hands of the policies pursued by Nawaz regime.
The meetings vowed that as guarantors of the food security for the two hundred million people of Pakistan the farmers’ vital interests will not be allowed to be sacrificed for the myopic and politically expedient development model pursued by the ML-N government.
The meeting condemned the excessive load shedding in Faisalabad and recalled how the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif used to criticize the PPP for load shedding vowing also that on coming into power he will end load shedding in six months failing which ‘he will change his name’.
The speakers said that instead of ending or even reducing it, the load shedding had increased by almost the double of what it was during the PPP government and asked the Punjab Chief Minister to honor his pledge and change his name as he had failed to end load shedding in six months.
Punjab PPP president Mian Manzoor Wattoo briefed the meeting on the measures taken by the provincial and divisional chapters of the party for the forthcoming local bodies’ polls in the province besides highlighting the pathetic condition of Punjab farmers and stressing the need to reverse to the anti farmers policies pursued by the PML-N government.
The participants welcomed the decision of the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to reach out to the workers of the Party and apprise himself with the problems and issues.
Thanking the participants of the meetings PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he will expand the breadth and depth of consultative meetings with party workers. He also expressed grave concern over the deplorable condition of the farmers and said that he had already directed party legislators to agitate the issue in the parliament. Recalling that the last PPP government had fixed wheat support price at a level that brought unprecedented prosperity to farmers he said that the past PPP government had set up the Trading Corporation of Pakistan and the Rice Corporation of Pakistan primarily to protect the interests of the farmers adding that the party will pursue its pro-farmers policies. He called upon the party workers to close their ranks and brace themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.
Agriculture is the mainstay of national economy and the growing frustration among the farming community bodes ill for the national economy, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned the government.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the PPP chairman asked the party leaders and cadres to reach out to the farmers, hold public meetings and also raise their issues at all forums including parliament to save the people from starvation.
The PPP chairman said that the PPP government’s policies of giving good support price and fixing tariff for tube wells at eight rupees per unit enabled the country to become self sufficient in wheat. As agriculture thrived the national wealth and purchasing power of the rural people also increased, he said.
He demanded subsidy to rice growers as was promised by the government recalling also that the PPP government had purchased potato stocks from farmers when its prices declined steeply so as to save the famers from ruination.
“A strong and vibrant agricultural sector guaranteed food security and no investment should be considered too great for the food security of the 200 million people”, he said and asked the government to revisit its policies towards agriculture sector.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also expressed solidarity with the tenants of the farmlands in Okara and other towns in their heroic struggle for their rights and vowed that the PPP will not abandon them.
He said this when the PPP delegation from Okara drew his attention towards the atrocities committed against the tenants of the farmlands by the PML-N government.
He recalled that a few weeks before her martyrdom Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had while hailing the heroic struggle of the tenants on the farmlands in Okara promised that the PPP would not abandon them.
Following in the steps of my martyred mother I pledge that I will not abandon these tenants who have been the victims of state brutality for long, he said.
The atrocities committed against the tenants and how their lands were being grabbed is damaging the image of the country, he said.
He said a Senate body report sometime back had also lamented the massive human rights violations of the tenants and the filing of false cases against them and recommended that the investigations into cases should be entrusted to agencies outside Okara.
The PPP Chairman demanded that the recommendations of the senate body on resolving the tenants’ issues be implemented in letter and spirit.
The meetings held separately in Zardari house Islamabad were also attended by Ms Faryal Talpur MNA, former Prime Ministers Yousuf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf, Punjab President Mian Manzoor Watto, vice president PPP Senator Sherry Rehman, Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira, Tanveer Ashraf Kaira General Secretary PPP Punjab, Jamil Soomro media advisor to Chairman PPP, ex MNAs Nadeem Afzal Chan, Mehrin Anwar Raja and Fouzia Habib.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also a meeting with Jahanara M Wattoo, head social media Punjab.
While underscoring the importance of Social media in the age of digital participatory democracy Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called for further streamlining and strengthening the social media wing of the party to package the party’s message and spread it far and wide, as social media has revolutionized communication strategies and a revolutionary party like PPP has to play lead role.
During his stay, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also chaired a meeting of the PPP leaders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, those attending the meeting include Ms Faryal Talpur, Raja Pervez Ashraf, senator Khanzada khan president PPP KPK, senator Sherry Rehman Vice President PPP, Senator Rubina Khalid, ex Provincial Presidents Zahir Ali Shah and Rahimdad Khan, Najmuddin Khan, Shuja Khan, Humayun Khan, Noor Alam Afridi, Faisal Kundi, Muhammad Ali Shah MPA, Akhumzada Chatan President PPP FATA, Aurangzeb Burki, Jamil Soomro media advisor chairman PPP.
Spokesperson senator Farhatullah Babar said the meeting is discussing issues relating to organizational matters of the party and political situation post local bodies Chairman ppp Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has set up a 2-member committee to visit Gilgit Baltistan, hold consultations with party cadres and submit recommendations for reorganization of the Party in GB.
The decision was taken at a meeting with ppp leaders from GB including ex CM Mehdi Shah and Jafar Shah in Zardari house in Islamabad late Wednesday night.
Spokesperson senator Farhatullah Babar said the two member committee comprising of Qamar Kaira and Nadeem Afzal Chan has been directed to visit GB next week for this purpose.
The meeting was attended by former Ms Faryal Talpur MNA, opposition leader in NA Syed Khurshid Shah, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Qamar Kaira, senator Sherry Rehman, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Shehla Raza and Jamil Soomro media advisor of chairman
Addressing the meeting Bilawal Bhutto said that Gilgit Baltistan has been bastion of the Party and called for urgent measures to recover the lost political ground in this strategic area of the country.
Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting that lasted for over two hours also discussed post-reorganization strategies for recapturing the political space in GB.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that ups and downs were part of political life. As one climbs one also slips. The important thing is not whether one slips or not; the important thing is what one does when one slips, he said.
Let us demonstrate to the world that the ppp will once again emerge as leading political force in GB as it has been in the past, he said.election in the province.
The 20-member APHC delegation that called on him comprising of representatives of all parties in the Hurriyat conference included Ghulam Muhammad Safi, mir Tahir Masood, Mahmood Saghir, Yousuf Naseem, Abdul Hameed Lone, Shafi Dar, Ijaz Butt, Shamim Shal, Faiz Naqashbandi and others.
Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that while paying tributes to the brave people of Jammu and Kashmir the PPP chairman also reassured them that the PPP will always stand with them in their just struggle.
The right to self determination of the people of Kashmir is also enshrined in the UN Charter and cannot be wished away by force and brutal suppression, the PPP chairman said.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called for mainstreaming FATA by giving its fundamental rights and local self-governments in the tribal Agencies.
This he said during meetings with representatives of Peoples Youth Organization PYO and Peoples Students Federation in Zardari House Saturday evening.