PPP gains confidence, PML-N loses its nerve

Related Article: Rauf Klasra’s article on PML-N’s opportunistic politics

It seems fairly clear that Pakistan Muslim league and it’s leaders losing their nerve and Pakistan Peoples Party and it’s government gaining confidence as well as people’s support due to its policy of reconciliation.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has straightaway dismissed the charge sheet against the party prepared by the leading opposition political group – PML-N, Pakistani Media reported on Friday.

Rejecting N-League-composed charge sheet, the ruling party, all the same, moved the people of Pakistan to decide if PPP had failed in meeting the 10 points reform agenda in letter and spirit.

“Pakistan People’s Party did not drag its feet because this 10-point agenda is our agenda and it is also part of our manifesto,” PPP central leader and Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination, Senator Raza Rabbani argued while addressing a press conference.

Mr Rabani also said that serious and sincere steps were taken for implementation of the 10-point agenda presented by Pakistan Muslim League-N and claimed that 100 percent progress was made on most of the points.

Federal Law Minister Babar Awan, former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, PPP leaders Tanvir Ashraf Kaira and Raja Riaz were also present on the occasion.

Raza Rabbani, however, said PPP would now play the role of active opposition in the Punjab.

Raza Rabbani presented in detail the position of PPP in connection with the progress made on the 10-point agenda put forth by PML-N.

“I was disappointed when it was said that no progress was made on the 10-point agenda and that even a 30 progress would have been considered reasonable,” he said.

He argued that the PPP-led government took up with utmost sincerity and seriousness all the points of PML-N agenda and also claimed that 100 percent progress was made on most of these points.

“People’s Party always believed in the policy and politics of reconciliation and took all the major decisions jointly by taking all its coalition partners on board,” Raza Rabbani said.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Babar Awan said that PPP would now play role of senior ombudsman instead of junior partner in Punjab.

With the final burial of the Charter of Democracy (CoD) between the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz after the announcement of Mian Nawaz Sharif to say goodbye to the PPP in the Punjab, the People’s Party on Friday announced it would sit on the opposition benches in the Punjab Assembly and play an active and vibrant role of opposition to make the Punjab Government accountable. It, however, reiterated that the policy of reconciliation will continue despite the odds.

“We will play an effective role of opposition in Punjab on issues relating to politics and will hold the Punjab Government accountable. We will nominate our leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly after consultation,” said Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Raza Rabbani.

“The Punjab Government has decided to replay the politics of 1988 with the gang of Changa Manga,” said Law Minister Dr Babar Awan. The PPP response to PML-N decision through the press conference was a mixture of defensive batting of Mian Raza Rabbani and fast bowling attack of Dr Babar Awan, who threw bouncers to the PML-N on bringing the “lota culture” back into politics.

Law Minister Dr Babar Awan said the federal government will give its detailed response to PML-N decision to dissolve the Punjab government once the PML-N took action on the same. Raza Rabbani counted the measures on 10-point agenda, which were implemented by the government.
Babar Awan described Friday decision of the PML-N as “regrettable” as what he called Nawaz Sharif removed the democratic people of the Punjab and wore the ‘garland of lotas’.

In reply to a question, he said the PPP ministers will not resign from Punjab Government. He said the PPP government will complete its constitutional term and there will be no mid-term election as elections will be held in 2013. “If any one thinks about mid-term elections, he should just think as there is no bar on seeing dreams,” he added.

Raza Rabbani said despite playing the role of opposition, the PPP will not bring no-confidence motion in Punjab and will not become party to destabilise the system. However, at the same he demanded of the Punjab Government to implement Article 63-A of the Constitution to bring good governance as if it is not implemented it will weaken the political parties of the country.

He said after general elections, the PPP was in a position to form its own government in Punjab with the help of other parties minus the PML-N but it pursued the policy of reconciliation envisioned by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

Mian Raza Rabbani emphatically stated that there would be no political instability as a consequence of the latest development. In reply to a question, he said the Federal Government is fully stable and ruled out mid-term polls.

When asked whether the hidden hand again came into action, Rabbani did not see such a progress. Dr Babar Awan remarked that how the hidden hand could play its game in the presence of such a vibrant media.

Mian Raza Rabbani said the PPPP has taken serious and sincere steps for implementation of the 10-point agenda presented by Pakistan Muslim League-N and claimed that 100 percent progress was made on most of the points. “Pakistan People’s Party did not drag its feet because this 10-point agenda is our agenda and it is also part of our manifesto,” he added.

He pointed out that these ten points were part of the PPP manifesto and that is why the party leadership strived hard for its implementation in a sincere manner. He said most of the points of the agenda had already been implemented as the parliamentary committee formed by the prime minister is devising a mechanism for fixation of prices of POL products and the government has not increased the prices of oil for the last two months despite hike in its prices in the international market.

He said a transparent mechanism was worked out and presented before the PML-N negotiating team for appointment of chief executive officers of public sector entities. Raza Rabbani said a list of written off loans was sought from the State Bank and the central bank asked to identify politically written off loans out of first 100 cases of each bank.
Rabbani said a bill has been prepared for revival of magistracy to ensure effective price control while National Assembly speaker has notified names of the parliamentary committee for appointment of members of the Election Commission.

He said the Federal Government has also undertaken exercise to reduce expenditure by thirty percent and the size of the federal cabinet curtailed. He said board of nine Discos and other entities were finalised while work is in hand to set up boards of remaining ones during the next few weeks.

Mian Raza Rabbani said a Judicial Commission was instituted to probe the issue of hike in sugar prices while other instances pointed out by the PML-N were sub judice before the Supreme Court.

About accountability, Rabbani said draft of the bill was prepared and handed over to the PML-N team. Minister for Law Dr Babar Awan said there should be no horse-trading in Punjab and the law and constitution should be respected.

He said the PML-N was embracing those who were partners of General Pervez Musharraf. He said the PPP ministers in Punjab were happy with the PML-N decision as now they would play the role of effective ombudsmen in the province rather than junior partner of that government.

Dr Awan said during the meeting of the PML-N, a person who used to sit on the stage with General Musharraf was also sitting there. “From the slogans of revolution, only ‘Lotas’ (turncoats) were brought out,” he added.

He said rather than playing the politics of gang of Changa Manga, the PML-N should listen to the voices of Memoona Javed Hashmi. Dr Babar Awan said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had opposed registration of cases against Mian Nawaz Sharif. “It was the PPP which convinced the PML-N to end the boycott of election,” he added.

PPP hits back at the PML-N

A sad day for democracy: Raza Rabbani




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