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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.

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PPP stakes claim to the slot of opposition leader in Senate

Islamabad March 21, 2021: Former Prime Minister and Senior Vice President of PDM Raja Pervez Ashraf has expressed the hope that the issue of the leader of the opposition in the Senate will be settled amicably with consensus among the combined opposition parties in accordance with the established democratic norms and traditions.

He said this while commenting on reports that PML-N had nominated its candidate for the slot of opposition leader in the Senate and that it was asking other parties in the opposition PDM to endorse its candidate for the same.

He said that with 21 senators in the upper house the PPP was the single largest opposition party in the Senate. The PPP believed that in accordance with democratic traditions the slot of opposition leader in the Senate should go to it, he said.

Raja Pervez Said that the two other most important parliamentary positions namely the opposition leader in the National Assembly and chairman of the public accounts committee both were held by the PML-N. It would be only right and proper that the third important parliamentary position namely the leader of the opposition in the senate was given to the largest opposition party in the upper house instead of the party which already held the other two important parliamentary positions.

He said that he was also a member of the Committee formed by the sarbarahi ijlas of PDM to propose opposition names for the slots of Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Opposition leader in Senate. He said that he had agreed that the three Senate slots be distributed among the three largest opposition parties in PDM by proposing candidate of PPP for Chairman, of JUI for DeputyChairman and PML-N for the Opposition leader. However after manipulation in the said election and denial of the Chairmanship to Mr. Gillani by wrongly rejecting 7 votes cast in his favor the situation had completely changed.

Raja Pervez Ashraf said that after election to the office of Chairman Senate the situation with regard to the available slots in the upper house and its distribution among various opposition parties had completely changed. The stance of the PPP with regard to the opposition leader was based on democratic principles, equity and fair play, he said

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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the attack on PML-N leader Captain (Retired) Safdar in the premises of Peshawar High Court and termed it a filthy trend, which has to be discouraged at all levels

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD, March 18: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the attack on PML-N leader Captain (Retired) Safdar in the premises of Peshawar High Court and termed it a filthy trend, which has to be discouraged at all levels.

In a statement issued here, the PPP Chairman said that such unfortunate incidents indicate degeneration in society and can extend to other tiers of our society. If steps aren’t taken to collectively discourage and stop such acts, ultimately no one will be safe from such attacks in the future, he said.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that such attacks show that as nation we are growing increasingly intolerant and political opposition has been turned into personal enmity.

He said that selected PTI government and its supporters are have started an ugly chapter in our history by resorting to such disgusting behaviour, which is a disgrace to the social and political fabric of the country.

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PPP to fight this fascist government in the parliament and on the streets

Islamabad, 17 March 2021: Former Prime Minister, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that PPP is a party which believes in democracy and has defeated every despotic government with its democratic actions.

He said this while addressing a press conference at the PPP media office in Islamabad on 17 March with Nazir Dhoki and others.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that it was the PPP which convinced all the political parties in the PDM to take part in the by-elections and the PDM won in all four provinces. In the Senate elections we defeated the selected government in the National Assembly and won a Senate seat from Islamabad. The PDM has also won the chairman Senate but the biased presiding officer illegally and unlawfully rejected 7 votes of PDM candidate Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. We are going to challenge this in the court. He said that the PDM defeated the selected government in the parliament and in the bye-elections. All the decisions taken by the PDM on the advice of the PPP proved correct and mature. He said that resignations are not first or second option but the last option to send this government packing. The PPP will exhaust all parliamentary options available.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that it is very unfortunate that the selected government has attacked a constitutional institution, the Election Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan Peoples Party strongly condemned these baseless accusations on the ECP by Imran Khan and his ministers. All the democratic forces are standing by the ECP. There is no fault of the ECP if Imran Khan lost all bye-elections and Senate elections, he said. He said that the name of opposition leader in the Senate will be announced after deliberations.

He said that the PPP wants to bring a no-confidence motion in the Punjab assembly. The PTI government failed to show any performance and all the promises made to the people proved nothing but lies. The people are against this selected government because it has given nothing but price-hike, poverty and unemployment to the people. The selected government has destroyed the country’s economy.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that we had all preparations ready for the long march but when the resignations were bracketed with the long march, the PPP asked for time to consult its CEC. He said that the PDM was formed by the efforts of the PPP and its leadership. We will inform the PDM about the decision of CEC.

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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the PTI government’s continuous attacks on the Election Commission of Pakistan

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD. March 17: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has strongly condemned the PTI government’s continuous attacks on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and added that ECP’s refusal to become a partner in the rigging and electoral engineering with the PTI is being taken as ‘rebellion’.

In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that ECP has to conduct its business in accordance with the Constitution and the relevant laws. “Threats to ECP to compel it to toe PTI’s electoral fraud strategies has to be condemned in strong terms. The nation stands with the ECP as a national institution,” he stated.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari further said that the demand of resignations from the Chief Election Commissioner and members of the ECP are blackmailing tactics on part of the PTI government, which has accumulated millions of dollars through foreign funding as a dubious political party to grab power.

PPP Chairman maintained that an independent Election Commission was necessary for a vibrant and genuine democracy and warned that any attempts to subjugate and hold ECP hostage to the whims of the PTI regime would be vehemently resisted by all the democratic forces.

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Chairman PPP address on campaign to plant in Hydrabad

HYDERABAD/ISLAMABAD, March 15: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that when the court pronounces its verdict on the issue of rejection of seven valid votes in the Senate Chairman election, the whole of Pakistan will know that the PDM not only defeated current government in the National Assembly but in the Senate as well.

Addressing a function in connection with a campaign to plant 100,000 trees in Khatri Forest near Hyderabad, the PPP Chairman said that PDM candidates had won in the by-elections in every corner of the country. PDM also participated in the Senate elections and not only participated but also succeeded adding that when the PTI government was defeated from one house to another, it got frustrated.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari further said that the PDM leadership would meet tomorrow in which the next course of action would be decided.

He said that Sindh Forests and Wildlife Department was doing commendable work despite limited resources. This Department has set a Guinness World Record for planting the most trees in a single day for three times.

PPP Chairman said that Imran Khan had claimed to plant one billion trees, but the Sindh government has actually did it. The Sindh government has planted 1.7 billion plants of mangroves alone, which is very beneficial for marine and coastal life adding that the initiative of planting one lakh saplings in Khatri Forest Hyderabad in a day is commendable, which will benefit Hyderabad and surrounding areas.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that the Urban Forest initiative by the Forest Department in Sindh would help in combating climate change as well as create employment opportunities for the poor. He inaugurated a campaign to plant 100,000 trees in Khatri Forest.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Provincial Ministers Nasir Hussain Shah, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Ismail Rahu and Murtaza Wahab, MPAs Sharjeel Memon, Jam Khan Shoro and other leaders were also present on the occasion.

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PPP stands with ECP on legal and constitutional issues

Islamabad, 15 March 2021: Secretary General Pakistan Peoples Party, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari has said that government’s demand of resignation of Chief Election Commissioner and members ECP is based on malafide intentions and victimisation.

In a statement, Nayyer Bukhari strongly condemning this demand said that this demand is laughable and beyond logic. This proves that the selected government wants selected institutions. This demand is an effort to pressurise the ECP. If government has any reservations then legal and constitutional remedies are available. Any institution, which is not influenced by the government, is ostracized by it. The government is intentionally weakening institutions one by one. He said that the PPP stands with ECP regarding all legal and constitutional issues.