December 26, 2007


Filed under: DOMESTIC,ELECTIONS - 2008 — civilsocietypakistan @ 12:21 am


DECEMBER 26, 2007


Dictators nurtured extremism: Benazir

* Former PM says she is keeping a close eye on Musharraf
* Reiterates demand for dissolution of local governments

MUZAFFARGARH/LODHRAN: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairwoman Benazir Bhutto said on Tuesday that dictatorship had always nurtured extremism in Pakistan.

She told a large public gathering at Muzaffargarh that extremism was the biggest threat to Pakistan and it should be eradicated. She said the government was conducting a military operation in Balochistan, while extremists were allowed free reign in the country’s Tribal Areas.

Benazir said the deaths of innocent Muslims in mosques on Eidul Azha were part of a conspiracy against Islam, adding that extremism could be eradicated only through democratic governments and not in a dictatorial system.

She said every dictator had nurtured extremism. She said the PPP had never accepted any dictator in uniform, saying its founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was hanged because he refused to bow down before a dictator. She said the 2007 negotiations between the PPP and the government had resulted in the military being separated from the government and the instalment of a civilian president as head of state.

Close eye: The former premier said she hoped that “total powers would be transferred from the dictator to democratic institutions”. She said Musharraf had promised free, fair and transparent elections to the world, adding that she would keep a close eye on Musharraf to ensure that he fulfilled his promise.

She said the PPP has its ideology and conveyed its message of provincial autonomy to the people. She said it is the government’s responsibility to secure the women, minorities and poor their rights. She said the PPP’s message did not believe in promoting provincial politics, sectarianism or ethnicity.

The PPP chairwoman said her party always wanted to bring the country into the modern world, adding that every dictator wanted to keep the people of Pakistan away from modernity. She said Ziaul Haq had not let people buy or listen to radio because he feared that they would listen to foreign broadcasts and raise their voices against his brutal dictatorial system.

She said Pakistan had never been involved in war internally or externally during the PPP’s tenure in power.

She announced several large projects for Muzaffargarh if the PPP returned to power, including the brick-lining of Muzaffargarh canal, the provision of sui gas and electricity, and the construction of roads for Muzaffargarh, Layyah, DG Khan and Rajanpur districts.

“We believe in the supremacy of the judiciary and the army’s minimum interference of the army in national affairs,” Daily Times correspondent Dr Khalid Chaudhry quoted her as saying. “Minimum interference in the country’s affairs is inevitable for strengthening the political and democratic system,” she added.

Later, addressing 4,000 supporters in the city of Lodhran, Benazir accused President Musharraf of failing to stop the spread of Islamic militants, reported AP. “The areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan has become a haven for extremists, and extremism and terrorism is flowing to other areas also,” she said. If elected, her party would clear extremists from Pakistan, she added.

In her campaign speech, Benazir said – under a slogan of “Food, Clothing and Shelter” – that her party would give people better health, education and job opportunities. She said she hoped that a true democratic situation would continue after the January 8 polls. She urged people to come forward and vote for the PPP, as it is the party of the masses.

Disbanding: Later on Tuesday, addressing reporters at the Islamabad International Airport, Benazir once again reiterated her demand for disbanding the local governments to dissuade any polls’ rigging.

According to Online, she admitted to having discussions with Nawaz Sharif on overall seat-to-seat adjustments with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. She said the discussions included a limited seat adjustment in Sindh.

The former PM also condemned the chaining of the media and appealed to the Election Commission to take immediate notice of this discrimination. She said no free media can be disallowed from direct coverage. abdul manan/agencies


DECEMBER 26, 2007


No personal vendetta against Musharraf, says Nawaz

* Former PM says every penny to be recovered from the Chaudhrys

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that he will not go for any personal vendetta against President Pervez Musharraf as his agenda is for the uplift of the country.

“President Musharraf wreaked a horrible personal vendetta upon me after October 12, 1999. I was kept in confinement in Attock Fort for 14 months. I was even kept handcuffed in the plane. But I will not take any personal revenge against him despite this victimisation,” he told a mammoth public meeting here in Mehmood stadium.

“The sovereignty and integrity of the country and the restoration of the judiciary are my top priorities,” he said.

He vowed to regain the lost glory of the country if voted to power so that the country’s prestige could be restored in the comity of nations. The president has made the country a laughing stock in the comity of nations, Nawaz charged. The rulers had mortgaged the integrity of the country to perpetuate their rule, he alleged.

The admiistration should learn a lesson from India where martial law has never been imposed nor has any dictator ever held the judiciary hostage to prolong his rule, he said.

As per a State Bank of Pakistan report, the Chaudhrys of Gujarat had gotten their loans written off to the tune of Rs 128 billion, he said. Despite their national crimes, the Chaudhrys are participating in the general elections, he added. President Musharraf has rejected the nomination papers of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif owing to a personal grudge, he alleged.

Nawaz said his party would recover every penny from the Chaudhrys if voted to power.

“I will generate more opportunities for employment after coming to power,” he said. “‘Mera ghar scheme’ will be launched again so that homeless people may get shelter to live in,” he added.

He said one individual was compromising the judiciary and arresting the judges. This one person was out to disintegrate the country, he said. It is the PML-N’s national obligation to prevent him from achieving his designs, he added.

The people elected me as their prime minister, but Musharraf put me in jail, he said, adding that Musharraf had broken his pledge, undermined the judiciary and abrogated the constitution.

He said generals were ruling the country at the time East Pakistan was turned into Bangladesh in 1971. We are heading towards another tragedy today, he added.

“I was being asked not to conduct the nuclear test,” he said, “but had I not carried out the blasts, India would have done it first.”

“The foundation of the current missile programme was laid down during my stint in power,” Nawaz said. online




DECEMBER 26, 2007


Nawaz plans 12-day election campaign

* Heads out on GT road today, plans to cover Punjab, Frontier and Quetta

LAHORE: Former premier Nawaz Sharif’s election campaign goes into full swing today, with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief planning to address more than 40 public gatherings across the Punjab, Frontier and Balochistan provinces from December 26 to January 6.

He will leave Lahore, heading out on GT road, today (Wednesday). He will address public gatherings in Wazirabad, Gujrat, Lala Musa, Kharian, Sarai Alamgir and Jhelum. Public gatherings in Gujar Khan, Sadiqabad Chowk and Rata Amral, Rawalpindi are also on the schedule for Wednesday.

On Thursday, Nawaz’s campaign will shift to the Frontier, with gatherings planned in Hassan Abdal, Hattian, Haji Shah Mor, Jhangira, Akora Khattak, Nowshera and Peshawar. After addressing public gatherings in Charsadda, Mardan and Attock on December 29, he will re-enter Punjab briefly, departing for Quetta from Islamabad on the last day of the year. He will address public gatherings and attend party meetings in Quetta, then return to Islamabad the same day.

Nawaz will then proceed to Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kot Adu and Layyah on January 1, 2008.

On January 2 he will head to central Punjab, with public gatherings and corner meetings scheduled for Mianwali, Khushab and Sargodha.

On January 3, Nawaz’s campaign trail will pass through Mansehra, Abbottabad and Hawalian, followed by Haripur and Liaqat Bagh (Rawalpindi) on January 4. Campaigning in Narowal and Daska is scheduled for January 5, and on the last day of his election campaign, Nawaz plans to address 13 public gatherings in Lahore. online


DECEMBER 26, 2007




DECEMBER 26, 2007



The nation

Dec 26, 2007

Don’t vote for turncoats: Nawaz

Bilal Habib
RAHIM YAR KHAN – PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif has said the victory of his party in the coming elections is necessary to control the inflation, restore constitution and eliminate unemployment in the country.
Addressing a huge public gathering at Mehmood Stadium here on Tuesday, he alleged that Chaudhry brothers and their allies have got their loans worth Rs 107 billion written off while plunged the masses into abject poverty. He said that during the PML-Q government, the country had to witness mass murders and countless bomb blasts from Karachi to Khyber. Mian Nawaz Sharif further said President Musharaf has betrayed the nation by violating the Constitution and illegally detaining the Supreme Court judges.
Nawaz urged people not to vote for those people who keep changing their loyalties. He said Musharraf’s dictatorial rule embarrassed the country, and he accused the ruling party of destroying the economy.
“Pervez Musharraf’s government made the people’s lives miserable. They cannot buy bread for their families due to extreme price-hikes and inflation,” Nawaz said.
The PML-N leader said due to undemocratic attitude of greedy and self-centered Pakistani politicians, the image of the country has been irreparably damaged all over the world. He further said that present rulers have increased the flour price five-fold, detained national hero Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan and massacred hundreds of innocent children in Lal Masjid operation. He said during his tenure, he had introduced green channel, Mera Ghar Scheme, Motorway project and many other development schemes.
Mian Nawaz Sharif strictly denied any deal with President Musharaf saying that he had returned on the call of 160 million Pakistanis.
Earlier, PML-N candidate of PP-290 Ch Sabir Ali welcomed Nawaz Sharif on his arrival in the city. Jaffar Iqbal Gujjar said that district Rahim Yar Khan is the fortress of PML-N. He further said that people would reject the turncoats in elections. Begum Ishrat Ashraf said that Pakistan was passing through 1970-like situation and only PML-N could emancipate the country from present crises.
APP adds: Former Prime Minister and leader of PML-N Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that effective steps would be taken to bring real democracy in the country.
He was addressing a public gathering here on Tuesday. He said that the steps would be taken to give freedom to judiciary for the smooth running of their work in the country.
Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was a democratic state and he wanted to see complete essence of democracy in the country.
“I am here to serve the 160 million people of Pakistan and the struggle for true democracy would continue,” he said.
He said that the PML-N and the PPP would form an allied government, but their first priority was to save Pakistan.
He said that after coming into power, his government would provide jobs to unemployed youths and take steps for the betterment of the farmer community.
He said that he had served as chief minister and prime minister twice and during his regime, he made efforts for the uplift of Bahawalpur district.
He said that he was in Bahawalpur to celebrate Quaid-i-Azam’s birth anniversary with the people of this area.
Baligh-ur-Rehman, Saud Majid, Malik Iqbal Channar, Samiullah Chaudhry and others also addressed on the occasion.

The nation

Dec 26, 2007

Suspend LGs before polls

Malik Sajid Budh
MUZAFFARGARH – The killings of innocent Muslims in the mosque on Eid-ul-Azha is not a service to Islam but rather such acts are becoming part of a conspiracy against Islam, PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto said this while addressing a big public meeting at the Sports Ground here on Tuesday.
She said that extremism was the biggest threat to Pakistan and it should be eradicated. She said that military drive was going on in Balochistan while the tribal areas were under the grip of extremists who were ruling that part of the country fearlessly.
Benazir remarked that extremism could be eradicated only through democratic govts and not in a dictatorial system.
She said that every dictator fanned extremism for their own interests.
She said that PPP never accepted any dictator in uniform as its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged but he never begged for life before a dictator.
She said that negotiations between Gen Musharraf and PPP were held in 2002 but PPP could not accept an Army General as President.
She said that in 2007 negotiations between the govt and PPP again started and as a result now a civilian President is in the Presidency while the military has a separate COAS.
Benazir said that this is the first step of transition but ‘I hope that total powers should be transferred to democratic institutions’.
She said that Musharraf had promised all the world and nation that free, fair, transparent and credible elections would be held in the country.
She said that I will keep my eye on Musharraf whether he fulfilled his promise or not regarding transparent elections.
Benazir also demanded the suspension of local bodies in the country prior to the holding of elections.
She said that PPP has its own ideology and conveyed its message of provincial autonomy to the people.
She said that it is the responsibility of the govt to secure the women, minorities and poor’s rights.
She said the PPP’s message is not to promote provincialism, sectarianism and ethnicity.She said that people should rule the country.
She said that PPP’s slogan is that every man wants knowledge, progress and work and every man needs Roti, Kapra aur Makaan.
She said that every dictator wants to keep the people away from modern civilisation. She said that Zia did not let people buy and listen to radio because he feared that people after listening to BBC or VOA would raise their voices against his brutal dictatorial system.
She said that Bhutto had given nuclear bomb to Pakistan while she herself gave the missile technology.
She said that PPP has given Chashma Nuclear Plant, Kamra Aeronautical Plant, a factory of submarines in Karachi, Satellite system, optical fiber, computer literacy, electricity, Ghazi Brotha Dam, Pasni and Karakoram Highways, Karachi Steel Mills, Port Qasim, 1973 Constitution, Heavy Mechanical Complex at Taxila and Multan Oil Refinery etc.
She said that 1965 war was in a dictator’s regime while in 1971 East Pakistan was disintegrated.
She said that during Zial-ul Haq’s govt Siachen Glacier went to India.
She said that PPP had worked against sectarianism.
She criticised Farooq Leghari and said that if someone from Seraiki belt puts chaadar on his sister’s head, then he never steps back but Leghari turned a traitor against me and now he is all alone while PPP is the most popular party in the country.
She said that the PPP govt has given a lot of projects to the Seraiki belt like new airport,LHC Multan bench and Sui gas to all cities of Seraiki areas.
She said that anti-PPP govts hanged Bhutto in a false case, murdered Murtaza Bhutto and Shahnawaz Bhutto and implicated me in cases in Pakistani and Swiss courts, jailed Asif Zardari for eight years and now put the country at the mercy of extremism.
She said that anti-PPP govts raised the prices of atta, potato, tomato and petrol.
She announced big projects for Muzaffargarh if the PPP comes to power that include brick-lining of Muzaffargarh Canal, Sui gas, electricity, ring roads for Muzaffargarh, Layyah, D.G. Khan and Rajanpur districts and a bridge on Chenab.
Earlier, PPP Punjab President Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Naveed Malik, Dr Babar Awan and PPP candidates from the district Muzaffargarh addressed the gathering.
On the occasion tight security steps were taken.

The nation

December 26, 2007


PPP may win 42 NA, 85 PA seats in Sindh

KARACHI – The Pakistan People’s Party is eyeing 42 National Assembly and 85 provincial assembly seats in Sindh province.
Total NA seats in Sindh, including reserved, are 61 while 168 are provincial assembly seats. PPP enjoys better position in the Sindh after the arrival of Chairperson Benazir Bhutto. PPP Sindh President Syed Qaim Ali Shah talking to The Nation on Tuesday, said that despite the biased caretaker government, which in fact is extension of the PML (Q), PPP would win 75 percent of National as well as Provincial Assembly seats in Sindh. In 2002 elections, PPP won 29 NA seats out of 61 and bagged 68 provincial seats out of 168. Factors like the return of Ms Bhutto, attack on PPP rally in Karachi on October 18 and failure of coalition government of the PML (Q) in Sindh have given boost to its vote-bank and graph of PPP, said Mr Shah, adding that the previous rulers had miserably failed to provide jobs to people in the Sindh, especially in the rural areas. The poor law and order situation in Sindh and rising poverty further increased the vote bank of the PPP in the province, dimming the chances of the opponents of PPP vis-a-vis getting more seats. Political observes said that 18th October’s welcome accorded to PPP chairperson was referendum against the PML (Q) as the PPP supporters came to welcome their favourite leadership from every nook and corner of the Sindh.
Political observes also said that this time the situation seems different from 1988 elections, when PPP had bagged majority seats in the province by knocking out the political kinds like Pir Pagaro, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Elahi Bukhsh Soomro, etc.
In the coming elections, these leaders might retain their own seats, but most of the seats of National Assembly and Provincial Assembly would be won by the PPP candidates.
PPP leadership for January 2008 election, refused to award party tickets to those who had left the party to join PML (Q) and the People’s Party Patriotic. However, in Karachi city, the PPP would get only three national assembly seats from Lyari, Malir and NA-239 from Kemari Baldia town along with five provincial assembly seats. In Karachi, MQM appears in sweeping position in the absence of Jamaat Islami.
PPP sources said that their candidates in Khairpur, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and in Dadu districts are in very strong position.
Sources in PPP said that PPP has also made a plan to resist the PML (Q) and its coalition partners’ plan to rig the election. PPP Central leader Manzoor Hussain Wasan told The Nation that PPP would not let any party leader or the government to snatch the right to vote from the people and would protect each and every vote.

PPP Sindh President Syed Qaim Ali Shah told The Nation that despite use of the government machinery by the PPP opponents and harassment of the workers and candidates of the PPP the party would win election with thumping majority.
PPP Sindh President said that in the wake of the successful election campaign launched by the PPP chairperson their political opponents were scared and made plans to rig the election. PPP Sindh President said that he has challenged the PML (Q) leadership that to hold public meetings just like ones organised by the PPP chairperson in Sindh. He alleged that PPP political opponents were using all the government machinery and using police officials as tool to rig the election, but PPP with the support of the people foiled all conspiracies of their political opponents. PPP Sindh president said that PPP would retain all the seats as was done by it in 1988 election. Holding PPP as symbol of the federation, he said the manifesto of the party was for the poor, labour, middle class etc. He hoped after getting 75 seats in the provincial assembly as well as national assembly the party would form government in the Sindh as well as also in the centre.


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