Asif Ali Zardari meets PPP Punjab leaders on Senate polls strategy

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday held a meeting with Punjab’s leadership of the party to finalise the strategy for the upcoming Senate elections in Punjab.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement said the former President discussed party’s strategy in the forthcoming Senate elections in Punjab with PPP’s political leaders of the province. PPP President Punjab Mian Manzoor Wattoo and party MPAs from Punjab called on him at Zardari House. Asif Ali Zardari directed the party leadership of Punjab to utilize all efforts for electoral success of the party in Senate elections from Punjab province where it fielded Afzal Nadeem Chan on a general seat.

PPP has only eight MPAs in Punjab assembly against the required strength of 52 members in Punjab to elect a candidate for general seat. Party is relying mainly on the support of PML-Q, which has strength of 8 MPs, some 5 independents. However party‘s success in Punjab could only come if it could muster support of some disgruntled PML-N MPs which has an overwhelming majority in the assembly. Political circles believe that party would try to court some disgruntled elements in PML-N that are not happy with the party leadership.

The former president also discussed with the Punjab leadership of the party the plight of agriculture sector and expressed grave concern over the continued neglect of the agriculture sector by the present government resulting in despondency among the farming community and steep decline of this critical sector of national economy. The government’s neglect of the sector is evident from its reluctance in giving adequate support price to the farmers as a result of which farmers growing potatoes, wheat and rice were the worst affected, the former President said.

He said that whenever the PPP government came into power the agriculture sector witnessed a healthy boom contributing to the national wealth as well as to increasing the purchasing power of the rural people and ushering in prosperity. However, the present government had not only neglected the farming sector but also diverted precious resources to politically visible projects like Metro bus in Islamabad, more for drawing political mileage rather than serving the interests of largest number of people, he said.

Asif Zardari said that the PPP government’s policies of giving good support price and fixing tariff for tube wells at eight rupees per unit enabled the country to become self sufficient in wheat and brought prosperity to the farmers. He said that rice growers were groaning but the present government had not yet fulfilled its promise of subsidy of five thousand rupees per maund to them and asked the government to fulfil its promise without further delay. Meanwhile, Argentinean Ambassador to Pakistan also called on former President and discussed the issues of mutual interests of two countries.

Source: Daily Times

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