PPP to play role of responsible opposition in Punjab, says Zardari

President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the PPP in Punjab will play the role of a responsible opposition and will not do anything that will destabilize the provincial government.

or weaken democracy in any way or undermine the broad based national reconciliation effort that was undertaken when the PPP led coalition formed government in Islamabad three years ago.

Talking to Punjab PPP MPAs who had gathered at the governor House Lahore from Bilwala House Karachi on Wednesday, the President also advised the MPs to perform their duties as responsible and critical opposition but not allow themselves to be provoked in to saying or doing anything that militated against the spirit of democracy.

The President said that the Party has a long history of fighting against dictatorship and democracy had been restored in the country after huge sacrifices by the people of Pakistan.

The hard earned democracy must not be allowed to be weakened, the President said. President Zardari said that it has been a practice in the past to divide the political forces and parties and taking advantage from their mutual bickering democracy was undermined by undemocratic elements.

The political forces must be cautious against a repetition of the past. He said that he was aware of the difficulties faced by the Punjab PPP MPs in respect of their development funds and project after their exit from the provincial government.

The President said that in consultation with the Prime Minister he will set up a committee of the Party MPs to look into their problems and suggest measures for the continuation of their development projects with the help of federal government, if needed.

The President also recounted the achievements of the PPP government during the last three years and said that the record spoke of itself adding that the Party was proud of its performance.

Listing the achievements the President said that restoration of the democratic Constitution, restoration of provincial rights and devolution of powers to provinces will go down in the history as some of the greatest achievements.

The PPP made these achievements even though it was not in simple majority he said recalling also that in the past even governments that had two third majority in the Parliament could not achieve this.

He said that despite huge set back to economy due to fight against militancy and unprecedented floods last year tax collection and foreign remittances had greatly increased.

Talking about the devastation caused by floods the President said that more than 20 million people were badly affected and one-fifth of Pakistan’s land was under water and the total loss to infrastructure, crops and houses was over ten billion dollars.

Despite these problems the President said that the PPP government had provided relief to salaried persons, pensioners and the farmers on the one hand and to the poorest of the poor through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) on the other.

The President also paid  tributes to Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Khalid Ghurki and martyrs of democracy.

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