LOWER DIR -  Former prime minister and central leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Sunday said that the party gave identity to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), besides calling for the Fata's merger with the province forthwith.

He said this while speaking at a public gathering in Lower Dir on Sunday.

The PPP supports making tribal areas a part of the KP, he said. It was the PPP that gave identity to the Pakhtuns by changing name of the province, he added.

The party had empowered provinces by passing the 18th amendment in the constitution, he said. “We have done a lot and will do much more for the welfare of the people of Pakistan,” he said.

The PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was also scheduled to address the gathering but he did not, due to unknown reasons. Gilani said that PPP devolved powers to smaller provinces under the constitution, relinquished presidential powers to the Parliament, and made the utmost effort to remove the deprivations and reservations of the provinces during its tenure.

He lauded the sacrifices of the people of Malakand division in the war against terrorism. He said that the Pakistan Army had made immense efforts for the peace and security of the area. 

He said the movement of 2.5 million internally displaced persons made it one of the largest migrations in the world.

He said the PPP accepted the court decision when he was dismissed from the premiership and banned from political office for five years.

The former prime minister said that the constitution was framed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The PPP refrained from standoff with other institutions to ensure the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution, he added.

Those who had written off the PPP were living in a fool’s paradise, and should realise that the party has struggled for the rights of the down-trodden, peasants, labourers and women.

A large number of people attended the party’s public gathering. Other central and provincial leaders of the PPP also spoke on the occasion.