MULTAN-Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani alleged that the 2013 General Elections were the elections of returning officers (ROs) and the public mandate was robbed.

He said that personally he was not in favour of resignations from assemblies. Addressing a news conference at the venue of Bilawal Bhutto’s upcoming Multan Jalsa on December 15 here at Qasim Bagh Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, he added that the democracy should continue to function. He said that the PPP was not opposed to the merger of FATA but the reservations of all stakeholders should be addressed.

He claimed that the Multan public meeting would create new political history and it would continue to leave impact on national politics even after 2018. He added that the residents of Multan would accord historic welcome to the son of Benazir Bhutto. “The PPP is going to hold a major event in Multan after 24 years and it will be addressed by the party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto,” he declared. He said that the public meeting would remind the people of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

To a query, he said that the PPP was not in competition with any other party, adding that any party wanting to contest the polls would have to go to the election on the basis of its performance and manifesto. He said that the PPP was the only political party that took practical steps for the welfare of the people. He said that Bilawal Bhutto would announce his manifesto in Multan jalsa and PPP would go to elections on the basis of its performance and manifesto.

Answering to another question, he said that the PPP did not strive to protect anyone rather it endeavoured for the stability of democracy, rule of law, strengthening the parliament and stability of institutions. He said that Multan jalsa was a big challenge for local leadership and workers as well as leaders worked day and night to make it successful. Citing examples, he said that workers conventions were held in all national and provincial constituencies and even minority convention was also held.

PPP South Punjab president Makhdoom Ahmad Mahmood, Abdul Qadir Shaheen, Kh. Rizwan Alam, Dr. Javed Siddiqui and other leaders were also present.