HYDERABAD - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has said that election manifesto of the Pakistan People’s Party will be unveiled at a public meeting in Garhi Khuda Bux, Larkana, on December 27, which will be held to mark the death anniversary of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

“PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will unveil the manifesto at his first ever public address to a large public meeting in Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto,” the chief minister told a press conference at the Press Club on Sunday. According to him, the party’s leaders and workers from all parts of the country and even people from the United States would attend the meeting in Larkana. “It will be a time to recall the political struggle and sacrifices of Shaheed Benazir and also to remember what vision for demorcacy, peace and prosperity she gave to the nation,” the chief minister said, adding that the occasion would be a momentous event in the party’s history.

He informed that Bilawal would address the people in Sindhi and Urdu languages. The chief minister recounted the government’s achievements during the last 4 and a half years saying that the provincial government made Sindh self-sufficient in agriculture, produced hundreds of thousands of jobs, won autonomy and the right to collect the sales tax on services, launched crucial energy projects among other things.

“The province’s Annual Development Program (ADP) budget was a paltry Rs 45 to Rs 50 billion before our government. We swelled that budget manifold in last 5 years to the current level of Rs320 billion,” he said adding that happened on the back of 3 consecutive years of calamity which displaced millions of people and wrought devastation to the standing crops.

“But our apt policies helped the annual production of all the major crops including wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, etc. grow constantly despite the floods,” he said explaining that various incentives given by the government kept the sector afloat.

“Today we are in a position to export wheat, cotton, sugarcane besides other crops and fruits,” he added. He also mentioned the progress in the coal development program in Thar telling that 2 foreign investors from the UK and Australia were making investments in addition to the Engro.

“The UK investors say that they will produce diesel from the coal. This will massively help reduce the country’s fuel imports and our ever growing foreign payments,” he observed.

Talking about the upcoming elections, the chief minister said that the government would ensure a free, fair and transparent elections and in that regard it had already strengthened the concerned institutions.

When asked to give the government’s position on the Supreme Court’s order for delimitation and voter verfication in Karachi, Qaim Ali Shah said that anyone who had objection on the order could file a review petition in the court.

“We say that Musharraf regime altered the electoral boundaries in a wrong way across Sindh,” he said.

Responding to a question about the ECP’s ability to complete the two processes ordered by the court, the chief minister said the Supreme Court and the ECP could give a proper answer for that question.

“But, as for my past experience, I think the process can take up to 3 months,” he said.

However, he emphasized that the PPP government would in now way allow postponement of the elections because President Zardari would terminate the assemblies on completion of their constitutional period and the fresh elections would be called.

Talking about the law and order situation in Karachi and ransom for kidnapping cases in whole province, the chief minsiter said that the government had succeeded to curb the crimes and if given more time it would restore peace in Karachi.

Shah was accompanied by the federal minister Mola Bux Chandio, the provincial ministers Syed Ali Nawaz Shah Rizvi, Zahid Bhurgari, Mukesh Kumar Chawla and other leaders.

The chief minister earlier chaired a meeting of the PPP’s leaders and workers from the 9 districts of Hyderabad division to review arrangements for the party’s December 27 public meeting in Larkana.

He informed that the workers of the party would gather in hundreds of thousands at the meeting in Larkana from Hyderabad division.

JUP wants voters verification by army: Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) has announced taking active part in next general elections and fielding its candidates in all the constituencies of country. It has also convened a meeting in January for revival of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of religious parties.

Addressing a press conference here after the meeting of Majlis-e-Shoora of JUP, Sindh, party’s central president Dr. Sahibzada Abul Khair Muhammad Zubair also supported Supreme Court order of fresh delimitation in Karachi and said almost all the parties favor this order except those who had done the existing demarcation of constituencies according to their own interests.

JUP chief also demanded verification of voters in Karachi through Ary and deployment of troops inside the booths instead of outside polling stations.  He said his party was in constant touch with political and religious organizations and the emerging alliances in view of elections.

JUP leader said his party discussed prevailing political situation and especially the pre-poll rigging currently going on, and formulated certain suggestions for the Election Commission to stop the rigging. He demanded immediate change of present provincial election commission in Sindh as according to him they have reservations over visiting the headquarters of an organization by the EC officials created doubts.

Abul Khair also opposed the dual LG system imposed in Sindh and termed it the system that suited to coalition partners. On Kala Bagh Dam, he said it should not be politicized as KBD was a technical issue. Moreover, it must not be built till consensus, as three provinces have rejected it, he added.