LAHORE – Special Assistant to Prime Minister Aslam Gill said on Monday that the decision of PPP Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari to hold local bodies’ elections in Sindh before the general elections was a clear message to the PML-N to follow suit in Punjab, and demonstrate its popularity among the masses besides its commitment to the democratic process.

In a press statement, Gill said the president had dispelled the impression that the ruling coalition would not hold the local government elections to keep intact the impression of its popularity.

Gill alleged that the PML-N leadership was used to keeping everything under its thumb and the governance of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the perfect example of absolute power.

“Shahbaz Sharif keeping many departments under his command on the pretext of collective responsibility is the worst manifestation of parliamentary democratic practices and the Punjab Cabinet blatantly defies the concept of plurality. Nowhere in the world this practice of Shahbaz Sharif is in vogue and the only exception is Punjab,” he maintained.

The special assistant to prime minister wondered what improvement concentration of power had brought about in the province where the rate of street crimes and cases of kidnapping for ransom had compounded many times, and the people were suffering from extreme insecurity. “The people of the province are frustrated and disillusioned because they do not foresee any improvement in the law and order situation,” he said.

Gill further said Shahbaz Sharif’s argument that the situation in other provinces was equally bad amounted to his desperation to take confessional refuge instead of focusing on improving the law and order situation in the most populated province. Peculiar conditions in other provinces are well known to the people, he remarked.

The PPP leader said the PPP derived its strength from the people who were the real source of power, adding that the party would continue to strive for their welfare and empowerment.

“The PPP will confidently face the electorate based on its performance, which by any stretch of imagination was unprecedented and the people know this. The party’s policy of reconciliation has led to the continuity of the democratic process and restoration of the constitution in its original form,” Gill concluded.