KARACHI - Asif Ali Zardari has asked the Sindh ministers to focus on the development projected aimed at public welfare.

PPP chairman Bilawal Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari jointly chaired the Sindh Cabinet meeting here on Sunday. The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and the chief secretary. Various issues including public development and law and order were discussed in detail.

Zardari instructed the ministers to enhance contacts with the people. He said the people have mandated them and this is their prime responsibility to work for uplift of the masses. Ultimately, all public representatives are accountable to the people, he said.

Zardari also briefed the meeting about his meetings with political leaders including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif the other day. He said the PPP has expressed its resolve to defend democracy at all costs as its leaders sacrificed their lives for the rule of law in the country. The PPP would continue supporting the democratic forces and institutions in the country.  The meeting congratulated the co-chairman on his successful meetings with the political leaders in Lahore and reposed full confidence on the party leadership.

Sources said that Zardari expressed his annoyance over the poor performance of the ministers, directing them to keep in contact with the people through organising open katchehries in each district of the province. The party co-chairman also warned the provincial ministers that he would not tolerate corruption in the departments, asking the ministers to serve the people with honesty.

Meanwhile, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam, while briefing media outside the Bilawal House, said that the ministers briefed the former president about their performance.

The ministers who attended meeting included Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Manzoor Wassan, Murad Ali Shah, Sharjeel Memon, Mukesh Kumar, Jam Khan Shoro, Mumtaz Jakhrani, Jam Mehtab Dehr. Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and Deputy Speaker Shela Raza were also present in the meeting.

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Senior PPP leader Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo on Sunday said that the proposal of PTI Chief regarding the incumbent Prime Minister’s conditional stepping down for a month should be given serious consideration by the government after taking into account its admissibility in the Constitution.

“The new leader of the House of the ruling party could be elected who would quit the office if rigging is not proved during the period”, he said in a statement.

He suggested to the government to focus on this proposal and strive to extricate the country from the quagmire of prevailing political deadlock that had been causing huge losses to the economy due to nosedive of stock market, shrinking of foreign exchange reserves, depreciation of value of rupee, postponement of the meeting with IMF and above all the image of the country the world over.

Wattoo further said that fair, free and transparent elections were the basis on which strong edifice of democracy could be built while rigged elections scuttle the very purpose of the whole electoral process.

Manipulated mandate hits the bed rock of the whole political system, he observed.

He regretted that elections in Pakistan had always been mostly conducted with the prior determination as who would win and who would lose. PPP had been the victim of such elections, he maintained.

He reiterated that PPP would defend democracy and ensure its continuation at all cost as the party had given countless sacrifices for it. Democracy is non- negotiable for the PPP and its leadership alike, he stated.

While appreciating the efforts of Imran Khan for ensuring fair, free and transparent elections, the PPP leader disapproved the use of unparliamentarily words in his speeches against the leaders of the other political parties.

He said that Imran Khan was a leader of national stature and should treat other leaders with equal respect based on tolerance, decency and dignity.

His tone and tenor against other political leadership is not measuring up to a national leader, he said.

He reminded that the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif started this practice as he broke the record of using the derogatory language against the political opponents especially during the last PPP led coalition government.

He said that that FIR of murders cases of PAT workers in Model Town should be registered, adding the Chief Minister Punjab should also resign on his criminal negligence being the chief executive of the province.