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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has extended Holi greetings to the Hindu community and all those celebrating the ancient Festival of Colours in Pakistan and across the world.

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI, March 27: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has extended Holi greetings to the Hindu community and all those celebrating the ancient Festival of Colours in Pakistan and across the world.

In his message issued on the eve of Holi festivities, PPP Chairman said that the message of Holi was love, peace and brotherhood besides it signifies the truimph of good over evil.

He further said that at a time when intolerance and extremism are on the rise everywhere, the importance and usefulness of promoting the message of Holi is of paramount importance.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that all the minorities are enjoying equal rights in Pakistan guaranteed through the unanimous 1973 Constitution given to the nation by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The PPP Chairman appealed to those celebrating Holi to offer special prayers for the eradication of the Covid-19 pandemic and for the security and prosperity of Pakistan during Holi.

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PPP is the largest opposition party in the Senate

Islamabad, 27 March 2021: Pakistan Peoples Party’s Senator Palwasha Khan has said that the PPP is the largest opposition party in the Senate and the position of the Opposition leader in the Senate was its right. If someone does not recognise this right then it is not a stance on democratic principle.

In a statement issued by the PPP media office Islamabad, Senator Palwasha Khan said that issuing statements against the PPP leadership is making anti-democratic forces happy. She said that the PPP and its workers have made the most sacrifices for democracy in the country and no one can teach us democracy and the struggle for it. She asked why the Senators in Punjab were decided without consultation with the opposition parties.

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Former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani’s press conference

Islamabad, 26 March 2021: Former Prime Minister and Opposition leader in the Senate, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday has said that the PPP has the stance that we must not leave any parliamentary option unchallenged and that is the reason he contested Senate elections and defeated government’s candidate.

He was accompanied by former Prime Minister, Raja Parvaiz Ashraf and former Chairman Senate and Secretary General PPP, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani said that the parliament is the voice of the people and cannot be ignored. He said that we were ready for the long march and all the preparations were in place. Then the resignations were bracketed with the long march which was a new thing for us. The PPP wanted to consult its CEC and the PDM allowed us time to do so.

The issue of the leader of opposition was discussed in a smaller committee of PDM. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has also said in that meeting that we the PPP are the largest party of opposition in the Senate hence we have the right to get the position of Opposition leader in the Senate. President Asif Ali Zardari made contacts with other parties in the PDM and several parties also contacted us and said that this position of leader of the Opposition in the Senate is the right of the PPP being the single largest opposition party in the Senate.

Gillani said that Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami National Party also promised us of their votes. The independent Senators from former FATA also supported the PPP. Senator Dilawar who has been affiliated with PML-N has formed a group of four Senators also supported us thus we had the support of 30 Senators of opposition. He said that he had won the Chairman Senate election but that matter is in the court now.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had contacted President Asif Ali Zardari and said that no controversial statement will be issued but today a senior office bearer of the PML-N has said that we have muster the majority with the help of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) which is not correct. We should not issue such statement for the sake of PDM. We want PDM to be intact to struggle against price-hike, poverty and unemployment and for supremacy of the constitution. He said that he was the first unanimously elected Prime Minister of Pakistan and assures PDM that we will remain together. He said that he will continue to fight for the rights of the people as the Opposition leader in the Senate.

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PPPP invites applications for Azad Kashmir elections

Islamabad, 25 March 2021: Secretary General Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement has said that the Party has invited applications from the aspirants of the Party ticket for the elections in Azad Kashmir.

The applications should be addressed to the President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians.

A bank draft of Rs. 30,000 against Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians should be attached with the applications.

The applications should reach Bilawal House Karachi or Zardari House Islamabad by 5th April 2021.

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A Parliamentary Board headed by Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been constituted for the awarding of party ticket to candidates for General elections-2021 in Azad Jammu & Kashmir

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI, March 24: A Parliamentary Board headed by Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been constituted for the awarding of party ticket to candidates for General elections-2021 in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, with the following members.

1. Madam Faryal Talpur
2. Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari
3. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf
4. Qamar Zaman Kaira
5. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro
6. Chaudhry Latif Akbar
7. Raja Faisal Mumtaz Rathore
8. Chaudhry Abdul Majeed
9. Sardar Yaqoob Khan
10. Chaudhry Muhammad Yaseen
11. Chaudhry Pervaiz Ashraf
12. Sardar Qamar Zaman
13. Sardar Javed Ayub
14. Mian Abdul Waheed
15. Chaudhry Fakhar Zaman Gulpera
16. Amir Abdul Ghaffar Loan
17. Nabila Ayub Advocate

A notification in this regard was issued from Chairman’s Secretariat by his Political Secretary Jameel Ahmed Soomro today.

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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his Party believes in the supremacy of the Constitution, which bars calling into question the proceedings of Parliament or ruling of the Speaker or the Chairman, in Senate’s case.

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI, March 24: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his Party believes in the supremacy of the Constitution and the Parliament but polling process at a polling station cannot be described as Parliamentary proceedings.

In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that the PDM candidate Senator Yousaf Raza Gillani had challenged the decision of a Presiding Officer of the Polling Station in the Senate Hall. This Presiding Officer had rejected 7 votes identifying them as the ones obtaining by Yousaf Raza Gillani.

He said that we will exercise our legitimate right to go to an elevated forum for seeking justice under the principle that a Presiding Officer of a polling station has no right to engineer the polling process and results. “Though the Constitution bars calling into question the proceedings of the Parliament. However, this was not a proceeding of the Parliament,” he added.

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that theft of Chairman Senate elections through foul play by a Presiding Officer was a litmus test for the system as it may get replicated in the future thus undermining the very credibility of the democratic institutions.

He further said that PPP has the constitutional right to knock available forums and this electoral theft won’t be allowed to sustain and Inshaullah, Yousaf Raza Gillani would become Chairman Senate because he is the genuinely and legally elected Chairman.

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Former President Zardari felicitates the nation on Pakistan Day

Islamabad, 23 March 2021: Former President of Pakistan and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated the nation on Pakistan Day.

In a message Asif Ali Zardari said that on this day we should pay homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country. Today is the day to reiterate our resolve to follow the ideology and philosophy of the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto taught us to love our country. The country cannot forget the leaders who gave the nation the nuclear and missile technology.

He said that the thinking of hatred and vendetta has harmed the country. The country was also harmed by imposing rulers without the will of the people. We have to treat all units of Pakistan equally and this is the recipe of a strong, stable and developed Pakistan. The state will be strengthened by following the constitution. The 18th amendment in the constitution is the assurance for stable and strong Pakistan with an inclusive federation, he said.

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Sherry Rehman slams the government for auctioning PIA’s Ispahani hangar

PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman said, “PIA’s Ispahani hangar was established in the 70s but it comes as a shock that Tabahi Sarkar has plans to quietly auction it. This hangar not only caters to PIA aircraft but also provides facilities to foreign airlines which generates revenue worth of millions”.

“Does the government not realise that due to this decision, now the airlines would have to pay crores for the maintenance and repair of their aircrafts? First it was the Roosevelt Hotel and now Ispahani hangar, this government is on an asset stripping mission,” she added.

She questioned, “Is there anyone who can take responsibility for what’s being done to our institutions? From Islamabad to Karachi, our state institutions are being sold and privatized by this Na ehl sarkar. This is only being done to award cronies”.

“So much for promising to create jobs and opportunities. The only thing this government has done is to take away opportunities. Instead of giving relief in the pandemic, they are making things difficult for people,” she said.

She said, “This government is responsible for the downfall of our national flag carrier. From the pilots controversy to sacking employees, PIA is being grounded on purpose. The decision to auction this hangar will not only affect PIA but also the labour working there”.

Vice President PPPP Senator Sherry Rehman concluded by saying that, “Ispahani Hanger has been functional for more than 3 decades and is the backbone of our airlines. We reject the government’s decision and will not let this loot sale take place”.

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Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s media talk in Lahore

Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, 22 March 2021: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari called on Jamaat-e-Islami chief Siraj ul Haq in Lahore. Both the leaders discussed the political situation in the country.

Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Hassan Murtaza, Faisal Karim Kundi, Sardar Salim Haider and Saeed Ghani accompanied the Chairman PPP.

After the meeting, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari talking to the media said that according to the democratic traditions, the opposition leader in the Senate should be from the party that has the majority. Chairman Bilawal responding to a question said that the PPP does not have it in its genes to compromise and be selected because we have always believed in a fair competition.

The manner, with which Maryam Nawaz Sharif has been called by the NAB, makes it obvious that the institution itself is inviting criticism. Responding another question he said that any statement by Maryam Nawaz will be addressed by my vice president.

Chairman PPP said that it is the responsibility of the politicians to ensure that political parties look for common ground on issues such as that of electoral reforms, accountability and Kashmir. The PPP and the JI have the similar stance on these issues. We are organic political parties. However, there are political parties in the country that use foul language. We have been resisting and condemning rigging in elections and it should be stopped.

Chairman Bilawal responding to the questions by the journalists said that the economic crisis is the biggest challenge that the country is facing, and that he had made an effort to engage all parties while forming the PDM. Nawaz Sharif’s demand of there being the same standard of accountability for everyone including generals has been made today, while we have been demanding the same for the past three generations. NAB, as an institution should not be used for carrying out personal vendetta. In both the National and Punjab assemblies, the situation is extremely favorable to no-confidence movements. A tough time should be given to the government from inside and outside the Parliament.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he will hold a separate press conference on PDM if needed, and that we want to create hurdles for the government by reaching a common ground with JI as well as other opposition political parties.

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Concern Expressed over reports of denuding mango orchards in Multan

Islamabad March 22, 2021: Former Senator and Secretary General of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party Parliamentarians has expressed grave concern over the reports of denuding of mango orchards and converting into urban property over the past years by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Multan.

Reckless conversion of mango orchards and farmlands into urban property will have a disastrous impact on agriculture, food security and environment he said in a statement today.

“Food security is far more important than building housing authorities”, he said and called for transparent inquiry into the reports.

Reports that tens of thousands of mango trees have been felled and land under mango orchards taken over for urban housing development are disturbing he said. Apart from transparent inquiry what is needed is course correction and a plan to protect farmlands and fruit orchards, he said.

Farhatullah Babar also raised questions about how the urban property developer the DHAs had proliferated in the country and at what cost.

The first DHA was set up under a martial law order in mid 80’s by General Zia by illegally taking over a private housing body. The Order was never placed before the Parliament for validation and instead made part of Constitution at the time of lifting of martial law so that even the Parliament could not change it easily.

General Musharraf added two more DHAs in Lahore and Islamabad during his tenrure. DHA Lahore was set up through a Presidential Order in October 2002 again by taking over a private housing society. This order also was not placed before the Parliament.

DHA Islamabad was set up in Feb 2005 again through an ordinance. The manner in which the fig leaf of legal cover was given to the DHAs is evident from a perusal of the record of parliamentary proceedings which also made some startling disclosures about Pakistan’s largest urban property developer. The numbers have since steadily increased and from one DHA in 1980’s there were nearly ten DHAs in the country.

He said Pakistan is committed to achieving targets of sustainable development set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including environmental protection. Pakistan’s national parliament was among the first in the world to endorse it.

He urged the government to reevaluate the urban housing development by the DHAs in the country and address the issues that only generated controversies. Credible assurances must be given that DHAs and other urban development schemes will not be allowed at the cost of agriculture, orchard farms, food security and environmental protection, he said.