KARACHI - Rejecting the proposed privatisation policy of central government, the PPP has alleged that PML-N regime has practically accepted the conditions of IMF, which is issuing its dictations through quarterly review reports and binding Pakistan in its chains of slavery ever more tightly.

Addressing a press conference at Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) media cell in city on Sunday, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said that proposed privatisation of the national institutions could only be legitimate if the Council for the Common Interest (CCI) would approve it and it was mandatory for the federal government under the Article 154 (1) to bring all such matters to the CCI, otherwise any act of privatisation would be unlawful and unconstitutional.

He said that not the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but the CCI should decide about privatisation of national institutions – including the Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIA), Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGP).

Rabbani appealed the provincial chief ministers of the three smaller provinces to requisite the CCI meeting under Article 154 of the constitution on privatisation as provinces are partners of 50 percent share in the national institutions which come in the federal legislative list of the constitution after 18th amendment. He also appealed the MPAs of the three provincial assemblies adopted unanimous resolutions against the privatisation of the national assets.

PPP leader said that PPL was running in the profit but the government sold its shares on discount rate, as he questioned the logic of the selling the profit making national institutions. He said that these public sector organisations were the flagship of the state and it was difficult to understand the logic behind privatising such strategic assets. He said these enterprises were also property of the provinces but the government was taking such decisions without consulting the provincial governments.

Rabbani feared that employees would be sacked by the new owners of the institutions, which will be resisted with tooth and nail. He announced that the PPP would unite all trade unions and labour federations under one banner against privatisation of the national institutions by the federal government and launch the joint struggle after the Eid. He warned the future buyers of the national institutions to stay away of anti-labour policies as PPP will challenge the whole privatisation policy in the Supreme Court as well.

To a question, he said that masses made the PPP accountable in the last elections. He said accountability through the NAB or other such institutions was ‘unjustified’. To another question, PPP leader said his party had not inked any exit deal with the former President Pervez Musharraf for his resignation, however, then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani might have held talks with the establishment to tell them about the decision of impeachment of Musharraf by the parliament.

“It has been unfortunate that the political history of the Pakistan is marred with powerful role of the establishment, even a needle cannot move without the permission of so called establishment in the country,” he said, insisting that the law must take its course against the former military dictator.