LAHORE - A delegation of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance led by Najmi Saleem, Ex-MPA, and Sarfraz Arjan, Coordinator Minorities, Nankana, called on Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, PPP President Central Punjab, on Friday and assured him that the minorities would cast their votes in favour of the PPP candidate, Ray Shah Jehan Khan Bhatti, on the day of by-election in NA-137.

 The members of the delegations were deeply appreciative of the PPP successive governments for looking after the minorities of the country and their mainstreaming in politics through legislative and executive measures.

Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo thanked the members of the delegation for their support and said that the PPP previous government took exceptional decision by allocating 4 seats for minorities in the Senate and was contemplating to legislate to give them representation in the National Assembly proportionate to their population. PPP will continue to push this piece of legislation till it is incorporated in the statute book, he assured.

He said that the PPP first government led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto created Ministry for Minorities in the government to look after their welfare and ensure the implementation of the decisions taken for their empowerment.

He added that the PPP previous government declared August 11each year as the Minorities Day that had co-relation with the declaration of the founder of the nation who said on that date that minorities in Pakistan would enjoy equal rights without discrimination.

 He further said that the same government allocated 4% quota of government jobs for minorities adding its implementation was also carried out keeping in view their social and economic upward mobility.

 Later, a delegation of Wattoo chieftains met the President PPP Central Punjab led by Shamsheer Ahmed Wattoo, Ex- MPA, in Nanakana today assuring their total support for the PPP candidate Roy Shah Jehan Bhatti. People of Nankana will prove the district as ‘Mini Larkana’ , a title  attributed to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto for the district, members expressed their confidence.

Wattoo said that the anti-farmers policies of this government had pushed the farmers against the wall and they had taken to the streets as a last resort in the face of the indifference attitude to address their predicaments.

He strongly condemned the abhorrent use of brutal force against the farmers in Vehari who were protesting against the apathy of the Punjab government towards them and were demanding the acceptance of their demands as per earlier understanding between the Pakistan Kissan Ittehad and the government of Punjab .

He stated that the PPP governments were always considered as synonymous to farmers’ friendly and PML (N) governments as farmers’ enemy. He referred to the previous PPP government that increased the wheat support price from Rs. 625 to Rs.950 in 2008, and Pakistan attained the status of wheat exporting country than the wheat exporting country from the same year.

The indicators of the uplift of the rural economy then were swaying right across the country and its multiplying impact over the economy was staggering because two third population’s livelihoods depended on agriculture sector either directly or indirectly, he maintained.

He demanded that the government must announce the support price of the forthcoming wheat crop at the rate of Rs. 1600 per forty kg with guarantee of purchasing each grain of the crop to save the farmers from the jaws of middlemen.