Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Central Punjab PPP, while addressing the Sheikhupura Bar Association today said that the PPP had ‘authentic information of the packing of the political system’ and therefore it did not endorse the politics of sit-in for the sake of the continuity of the democracy in the country.
He added that the PPP deserve the credit for saving the democracy in the country reiterating that it would again play the leading role if forces of extremism and status-quo waded to destabilize it in the future.
He observed that now there was no danger to the political system and therefore the PPP had decided to take on the government on issues those would adversely affect the wellbeing of the common people. Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shahs has boycotted the Assembly Session till the withdraw of the GST on petroleum products that was the physical manifestation of the change of the policy towards the government of the day, he pointed out.
He said that the PPP workers and its leadership had rendered countless sacrifices for nurturing democracy and therefore it decided to defend it considering it as the worthwhile legacy of the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who shed their blood for the cause of the rights of the people of Pakistan. Democracy is non negotiable for the PPP and its leadership, he maintained.
He said that the PPP had always been an anti-establishment Party and came to power only through the votes of the people whereas overwhelming number of other parties were groomed by establishment and assumed power while walking on the crutches of the status quo-power.
He said that the PPP firmly believed in devolution as a powerful factor for strengthening the federation as the concentration of power cut the roots of the same and the history of the country bore it amply.
He pointed out that the PPP unanimously passed the 18th amendment in the constitution to make the federating units strong through provincial autonomy because if they were strong federation would be strong. A score of Ministries were transferred to the provinces along with abolition of the Concurrent List.
He further said that the PPP government steered the passage of the 7th National Fniance Award unanimiuosly that entitled the provinces with bigger share of cake of the’ Divisible Pool’ that led them attaining financial autonomy.
He recalled that the former President Ali Zardari delegated his powers voluntarily to the Parliament to make it strong and as a result the democratic dispensation in the country. Parliament now appoints Services Chiefs, Judges and other constitutional positions of the top level.
Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo criticized the government for its apathy towards the rice, sugarcane and potatoes growers because they were constrained to sell their produces at rates which were less than their cost of production. He demanded that the government should compensate the rice growers as per its promise and buy potatoes in order to stabilize the prices in the market on the pattern of the PPP government.
He said whenever the PML (N) government came to power it unleashed anti-farmers policy and thus hurt the agriculture sector that was the mainstay of the country’s economy.
He warned that if the government did not compensate the farmers the PPP would be compelled to join hands with the growers’ organizations to protest the step-motherly treatment of the government.
He pointed out that the PPP government increased the support price of wheat in 2008 from Rs.625 to 950 per forty KG and the country attained the status of the wheat exporting country instead of wheat importing country the same year.
He lamented the flawed development strategy of the government like the Metro Bus Project that was constant drain on the public exchequer and also source of frustration for the people of the rest of the province because the project had been completed at their expense.
He strongly objected to the monkey business of distribution of development funds on discrimination basis by the Punjab Chief Minister and demanded the setting up of the Provincial Finance Award Commission mandated to distribute the financial resources among all districts on equitable basis.
While expressing his views on his ongoing tour of the 30 districts to address the Workers Conventions and sorting out the organization matters, he said that he was determined to complete the organization down to the Union Council. The mobilization campaign is very satisfying because the workers of the PPP feel mush elevated expressing their determination to complete the mission of the founder of the Party.
Later, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo presented a cheque to the President of Bar Association, Khalid Rasheed Malik, and also copies of his autobiography, Jurm-e- Siyasat for the Bar library .
Those who were present included, Chaudhry Manzoor, Suhail Malik, Raja Amir, Abid Siddiqui, Rana Gul Nasir, Malik Mushtaq Awan along with the local leadership of PPP.