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NAWABSHAH: Pakistan Peo­ples Party Parliamentarians, President, Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday advised the federal government to revisit its foreign policy and improve ties with the United States.

Speaking at a reception hosted at Zardari House in Nawabshah for elite of the Shaheed Benazir­abad district and later to local reporters, he said recent statements of US President Donald Trump against Pakistan reflected flaws in the foreign policy.

Improving the policy and relations with the world community especially the US was all the more important as the country was going through a crucial phase, he said. However, he added that US move to stop trade with Pakistan would have little effect on Pakistan. Commenting on the political situation and a future government in the country, Mr Zardari said: “I see PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] on the opposition benches after the next general election though it is premature to say anything as to who would form the government at the Centre”.

He said if his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) come to power, it would be able to restore good relations with the US, European and countires of the world.

Regarding chances of an interim dispensation, he said it was the PPP that had prepared the Constitution and evolved a consensus of all parties on it. It could better understand it, he said, and added that there was no provision for a “technocrat government” in the Constitution. “The general election and senate election may still be held on time but if the poor policies being pursued by the incumbent government at the Centre remained in force, they could be held before time,” he said.

In reply to a question, he dispelled the impression that all sugar mills in Sindh were owned by him.

He reiterated that the issue of sugar cane rate the result of the policy being pursued by the federal government.

He argued that the Sindh government had even granted a subsidy to cane growers last year and the money had been deposited in Sindh Bank this year but the federal government did not give any subsidy to them.

He said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appeared well aware of Air Blue and LNG issues but not about the issues of growers of Sindh.

Mr Zardari said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would definitely bring about prosperity in the country and, as such, it must be fully executed.

He also condemned the criminal assault on a small girl and her murder in Kasur and said recurrence of such incidents was a failure of the Khadim-i-Aala of Punjab.

The PPP leader reaffirmed his party’s support to Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Dr Tahirul Qadri on the issue of Model Town tragedy and said the reason was very clear that 14 innocents people were killed and about 100 others were injured in that tragedy. They must get justice at the earliest, he added.

Mr Zardari also refuted the allegation of his party’s involvement in the political crisis in Balochistan.

Turning to the issues of agriculture in Sindh, he noted that some 2.6 million acres of land had been lying dry due to the closure of the main Rohri canal before the scheduled time on a court order. He said he would make efforts to get the canal reopened as soon as possible.

Replying to another question, Mr Zardari said he wished to contest from Nawabshah in the next general election.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018

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