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Asif Zardari condemns baton charge of farmers as brutal and unacceptable

Says PPP will stand by the farmers

Islamabad May 26, 2017: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has denounced the baton charge of farmers in Islamabad as “brutal, vicious and unacceptable” and aimed at teach a lesson to a community that the Nawaz regime perceives as outside his its political constituency.

In a statement the former President said that he was profoundly shocked and grieved over the baton charge on famers who had gathered in Islamabad so as to be heard on the eve of national budget.

Instead of heeding the cries of farmers the regime chose to silence their anguished voice through brute use of state force, he said.

“It is a crime not only against the farmers but also against the nation for which the Nawaz regime will have to be held accountable and punished”.

Agriculture is the mainstay of national economy and the growing frustration among the farming community will undermine food security, he said.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the former President asked the party parliamentarians to vociferously protest in the Parliament and to reach out to the farmers and assure them of all out support.

He said that the PPP government’s policies of raising wheat support price and lowering tariff for tube wells increased the purchasing power of rural population, helped the country achieve self sufficiency in wheat and ushered in prosperity in the rural Pakistan.

“Meeting the legitimate demands of farmers is a peanut price for ensuring food security of the 200 million people”.

The present government has doubly harmed the farmers. “It not only neglected the farming sector but also diverted precious resources to politically visible projects like Metro bus in Islamabad for political mileage”.

Zardari also assured the farmers throughout the country that the PPP will stand by them and raise its voice for the promotion of agriculture and welfare of the farmers.

Not long ago the Nawaz regime committed atrocities against the tenants of farmlands in Okara and now the entire farming community has beentargeted for victimization, he said.

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چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا پی پی پی سندہ کائونسل کے رکن منظور پتافی کی اہلیہ کے انتقال پر دکھ و افسوس کا اظہار

کراچی (26 مئی 2017): پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری نے پی پی پی سندہ کائونسل کے رکن منظور پتافی کی اہلیہ اور صوبائی وزیر برائے ورکس اینڈ سروسز امداد پتافی کی خوش دامن کے انتقال پر دکھ و افسوس کا اظہار کیا ہے۔ اپنے تعزیتی پیغام میں پی پی پی چیئرمین نے دعا کی کہ اللہ تعالیٰ مرحومہ کو اپنی جوار رحمت اور پسماندگان کو صبر جمیل عطا فرمائے۔

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Bilawal Bhutto stresses for tolerance to fight extremist mindset

KARACHI, May 26: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the extremist wants to divide us along the fault lines of religion and culture. “As we fight against an extremist mindset within and outside our borders, it is up to our teachers to imbue into their students the true ideals of tolerance,” PPP Chairman stated during inauguration of Senate Hall in Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) here Friday.


Quoting Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he was hard pressed to find a truer example of Mandela’s words than the Sindh Madrassatul Islam. “This is the institution that educated some of the most renowned soldiers, dedicated educationalists, fine jurists and visionary leaders who went on to change the course of history of this nation and its peoples. And not only that, but change the very map of the world. For the Quaid e Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah himself studied at this campus, in addition to other luminaries including Sir Abdullah Haroon, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Khan Bahadur Mohammad Ayub Khuhro, and Shaikh Abdul Majid Sindhi, just to name a few.  Today as I stand here, at the threshold of one of the oldest institutions of modern knowledge in the Subcontinent, I am both humbled and filled with pride.”


“I take pride in the fact that I am a descendent of Khan Bahadur Hasanali Effendi, and Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto, the Founder of this illustrious institution and one of its finest students who dedicated his life to the fight for Pakistan. Seeing all these bright eyed young people who are currently pursuing their quest for quality higher education gives me renewed hope for a modern and prosperous Pakistan that can compete with bright minds anywhere in the world whilst simultaneously retaining pride in its own history and culture,” he added.


PPP Chairman applauded the efforts of the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Mohammad Ali Shaikh, for creating a learning environment conducive to the growth and development of its students, the teachers for providing an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with our future generations, and the students themselves dedicated to honing their minds and practical skills, which will serve to bring Pakistan at par with other developed and modern nations.


Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that today the role of the educator was more important than any other time in Pakistan’s history. We must ensure therefore, that our children stand undeterred in their quest for peaceful coexistence of all religions in Pakistan. For it is our diversity that gives strength; The strength to survive; The strength to progress; The strength to prosper, he added.


“History is witness to the pivotal role played by the youth in nation building. From Germany to Africa, China to Cuba, young people have striven to achieve their rights, political and religious freedoms, and fight against tyranny. Our very own independence is, in large part, attributed to irrepressible agitations by young people fighting for liberty. From the twelve disciples of Mandela to the Aligarh students, relentless struggle by the youth has changed the face of history.


“In these times when the entire world and our country in particular is going through a difficult time in the form of battling extremist elements, it is up to our youth to stand up to these forces and reclaim Pakistan as a progressive and peaceful nation. We must not confuse extremist ideology with religious beliefs. The fact of the matter is that Islam teaches peace, love and brotherhood, forgiveness, and patience, coexistence and tolerance and lauds “Jihad un Nafs,” battling one’s own evils, as the holiest of all endeavors.


“The young people of Pakistan, I feel, are particularly lucky. They have as the founder of their nation, a man who understood and appreciated their worth. “Pakistan is proud of her youth, particularly the students, who are nation-builders of tomorrow. They must fully equip themselves by discipline, education, and training for the arduous task lying ahead of them,” said the Quaid-e-Azam as he left the youth of Pakistan with a responsibility and gave them the means of fulfilling it.


“And the Pakistan People’s Party is entirely dedicated to providing you the means to fulfill your responsibility to your country. We remain committed to the education and development of Pakistan’s young people. The only way forward for our country is if we excel in every field, be it education, health, technology, or media. We have been striving to provide every child the opportunity to receive quality education in both rural and urban areas through an improved education sector and increased partnerships between private and public institutions. The establishment of SMI University in 2012 was in accordance with the Pakistan Peoples Party’s vision towards improved higher education opportunities for Pakistan’s youth through institutions that would open new doors for research based knowledge building, coupled with opportunities to practice their new found skills and knowledge before applying them to the real world.


“An educated nation is a progressive nation. And the Peoples government in Sindh is particularly cognizant of this. I understand therefore that the Sindh Government has made education its top most priority. In addition to considerably increasing its Education budget in 2017, it is now operating on a three-pronged strategy – (i) the improvement of the public sector schools through improvements in our existing systems; (ii) the outsourcing of public sector schools to reputable private organizations (EMOs) under PPP mode through a fair and competitive process. (iii) and finally, (as public sector schools are not sufficient in number to cover the whole population), supporting private sector schools through Sindh Education Foundation, especially in remote areas.


Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the basic difference between a good school and a mediocre or below par institution lies in the teachers and how they choose to impart knowledge to the younger generation. If teachers insist on rote learning instead of informed analysis and do not encourage their students to increase their scope of knowledge and learning through impartial and varied research, we will be deprived of a generation of thinkers and innovators, people who break glass ceilings and create new norms to aspire to.

“Inequalities in the education sector exist because of a dearth of motivated teachers who are part of the profession because it is their passion to watch children and young people learn and progress. We need such teachers who wake up every morning imbued with a sense of purpose and knowledge that they are part of building this nation’s future. Inadequacy of resources will always be present in all social sectors, and is given as an excuse for the differences in teaching and learning opportunities in the public and private sector. However, it is my firm belief that dedicated, motivated and enlightened teachers can make all the difference, however meager the resources and however difficult the circumstances. The best curriculum designed by leading educators, highest quality learning materials and grand buildings will fall short without good teachers.


Bilawal Bhutto Zardari further said that the students of this nation cannot falter in their mission to take their nation to new heights of glory. “We must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. To make Pakistan a sustainable democracy; to make the world recognize us as a force to reckon with, socially, economically, and technologically; that should be the goal you all leave this exalted institution with,” he added.

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Bilawal Bhutto lashes out at Sharifs for crackdown against farmers in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, May 26: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned the crackdown on peasants and farmers in Islamabad and termed it as a dictatorial action by Nawaz Sharif government.

Announcing his support for the protest and demands of farmers, the PPP Chairman said peasantry has been destroyed economically by PML-N government, which has proved the worst enemy of agriculture, which is continuously registering minus growth during current government.

He said that shelling and baton-charge on innocent farmers are part of the Sharif brothers’ anti-farmers policy as they have been ignoring and even facilitating protests by banned organizations in the capital city.

“The brutal torture against the farmers in Islamabad has again exposed Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar as a remnant of dictatorships,” he added.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said farmers and growers always prospered during PPP governments but Nawaz Sharif snatched smiles on their faces. Farmers demanding Bardana in Islamabad have every right to exercise their democratic right to protest against injustices, he added.

PPP Chairman said that his Party would restore all the rights of farmers after coming into power and will continue to promote and stabilize agriculture sector.

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سابق صدر پاکستان آصف علی زرداری کا وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سیدمراد علی شاہ کے ہمراہ تھر کول فیلڈکادورہ

 کراچی /تھر پارکر(25مئی ) پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی پارلیمنٹیرینز کے صدر اور سابق صدر پاکستان  آصف علی زرداری نے وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سیدمراد علی شاہ اور سابق وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ سید قائم علی شاہ کے ہمراہ تھر کول فیلڈکادورہ کیا۔ سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری ، وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سیدمراد علی شاہ اور سابق وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ سید قائم علی شاہ کا تھر کول فیلڈ پہنچنے پرایم این ایز، ایم پی ایز اور منتخب نمائندوں نے استقبال کیا، سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری نے تھرکول فیلڈ بلاک 2 میں کان کنی اور پاور پلانٹ کے کام کا جائزہ لیا گیا۔وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ نے سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری کو منصوبے کے متعلق تفصیلات سے آگاہ کیا۔وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ نے بتایا کہ تھر کول فیلڈ فیز Iکا بلاک II ایک سو اسکوائر کلومیٹر پر محیط ہے ، اس بلاک میں سندھ حکومت پانچ مختلف کمپنیز کے ساتھ شراکت داری کے تحت کان کنی اور پاور پلانٹ لگا رہی ہے ۔ انہوں نے کہاکہ سندھ حکومت، اینگرو کارپوریشن، حبکو، ہاؤس آف حبیب، چائینز کمپنیز CMEC کے ساتھ مل کر کام کر رہی ہے۔وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ نے مزید بتایاکہ کان کنی اور پاور پلانٹ لگانے کا معاہدہ چائنیز کمپنی CMEC کے ساتھ ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ فیز1 میں کان کنی کرنے سے 3.8 ایم ٹی کوئلہ سالانہ نکالا جائے گا،اس کوئلہ سے 660 میگاواٹ بجلی کی پیداوار ہوگی۔ اس منصوبے کی کل لاگت1.8بلین ڈالر ہے اور یہ منصوبہ جون2018 میں مکمل ہوگا۔وزیراعلیٰ سندھ نے تھرکول فیلڈ فیز II کے متعلق بتایا کہ اس کی کان کنی سے 7.6 ایم ٹی کوئلہ سالانہ نکالاجائے گا، اس پر 2 پلانٹس سے 330 میگاواٹ بجلی کی پیداوار ہوگی۔ وزیراعلیٰ سندھ نے بتایا کہ اس کان کنی پر 200ملین ڈالر کی لاگت آئے گی جبکہ بجلی کی پیداوار کے منصوبہ کی لاگت 1 بلین ڈالر ہوگی اور یہ فیز II منصوبہ دسمبر 2021 میں مکمل ہوگا۔ وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ نے بتایاکہ تھر کول فیلڈ کے فیز III منصوبے کے تحت سالانہ 13 ایم ٹی کوئلہ نکالا جائے گا، جس کی لاگت 500 ملین ڈالر ہوگی۔ وزیراعلیٰ سندھ نے کہا کہ اس منصوبے میں 660 میگاواٹ اور 330 میگا واٹ کے 2 منصوبے لگائیں جائیں گے، جن کی لاگت 1.5بلین ڈالرہوگی اور یہ بھی دسمبر 2021 مکمل ہوگا۔ سید مراد علی شاہ نے کہا کہ ان منصوبے میں بھی عارف حبیب کی کمپنی شیئر ہولڈر ہے۔وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ نے بتایا کہ تھر کول فیلڈ کے فیز IV منصوبہ کے تحت کان کنی کی مقدار 19ایم ٹی ہوجائے گی ،اس منصوبے سے 3 پاور پلانٹس لگائیں گے جو 330 میگاواٹ بجلی پیدا کریں گے اوراس پاور پلانٹس کی لاگت 1.5بلین ڈالر ہوگی، جبکہ کان کنی کی لاگت 500 ملین ڈالر ہوگی اور اس منصوبے میں عارف حبیب کی کمپنی شیئر ہولڈرہے۔اس موقع پر سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری کو سندھ کول مائنگ کمپنی کے چیئرمین خورشید جمالی نے فیز 1 میں لگنے والے پاور پلانٹس کی تیکنیکی پہلو ؤں سے آگاہ کیا۔سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری نے کان کنی اور پاور پلانٹس کے جلد لگانے اور تیز رفتار کام پر وزیراعلیٰ سندھ کی ذاتی دلچسپی اور سابق وزیراعلیٰ سید قائم علی شاہ اور تمام پاٹنرز کی تعریف کی۔ سید مراد علی شاہ نے سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری کو آگاہ کیاکہ یہ کام آپ کی دورِ صدارت عمل میں آیا اور جس میں آپ کی رہنمائی شامل ہے۔انہوں نے کہا کہ اس منصوبے پر عملدرآمدکا کام بعد میں شروع ہوا، لیکن اب یہ تکمیل کی جانب تیزی سے رواں دواں ہے۔ وزیر اعلیٰ سندھ نے کہا کہ سابق صدر آصف علی زراری کی رہنمائی میں ہماری کوشش ہے کہ ملک کو اندھیروں سے نکال کر روشنیوں کی طرف لے جائیں۔اس موقع پر سابق صدر آصف نے کہا کہ انشاء اللہ پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کی سندھ حکومت پورے ملک کو روشنی، صنعتی ترقی اور روزگار مہیا کرے گی۔سید مراد علی شاہ نے کہا کہ سندھ مجموعی طور پرقدرتی وسائل کوئلے، گیس ، تیل ،ونڈ انرجی،، شمسی توانائی کی بدولت پاکستان میں پہلے نمبر پر ہے،اگر وفاق تعاون کرے تو سندھ توانائی کے شعبے میں انقلاب لاسکتاہے۔

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The Borrower’s Budget

Commenting on the upcoming budget, Vice-President PPPP, Senator Sherry Rehman, regretted that the government has taken Pakistan deeper into the borrowing trap more than ever before. “This must be the only government that is happy about its trade imbalance,” she said, when responding to the launch of the Economic Survey.
The Senator said, “By putting everything on CPEC, which is a unique FDI opportunity, the government is sitting back and explaining away all its missed targets and growing deficits on that! Instead of even pretending to balance its budget, this government is going headlong into the next financial year by deepening the huge annual current account deficit”.
“This is unprecedented even for this government which has run the treasury on empty. According to the Annual Plan 2017-18, this budget will be a chronology of their incessant borrowing, more indirect taxes, surreal deficits and skyrocketing debt,” Rehman added.
“It is projected that our current account deficit will reach a staggering $10.4 billion from $7.2 billion last year. This is mainly because our trade deficit amounts to almost $26.9 billion which was roughly $16.5 billion during PPP’s last year in government. Estimates suggest that this year’s current account deficit rose by 42% compared to last year. How is this not raising any red flags for the government?” questioned the PPPP Vice-President.
Rehman noted, “PPP has continuously pointed out the dangerous downward trajectory that our economy is taking. Since this government came to power, our current account deficit has constantly been increasing. Trade deficit and borrowing have reached record highs, exports are down, remittances are falling and FDI is plummeting”.
The Senator also lambasted the government’s track record and failed campaign promises saying, “Exports have declined by $3 billion, external debt has increased by $6.3 billion, domestic debt has increased by 78.5%, there is a decline of 2.8% in remittances and circular debt has reached over $ 4 billion in the span of 4 years. Whatever happened to the big promises the PML-N made during the campaign?”
Rehman further elaborated, “The government has once again, for the fourth consecutive time, failed to meet the target GDP growth due to their own ruinous economic policies and poor performance. Economic indicators are gloomier since they have missed all of their major economic targets. The fiscal deficit for instance is 4% over the target and key sectors such as agriculture and service are not showing encouraging signs.”
“Indirect taxation is another point of concern. How can a country address its huge social inequalities if it continues to rely on indirect taxes? And a fiscal policy with no plans for raising revenue at home will just end up in more borrowing. In fact, according to reports, Pakistan is already planning to get $8.1 billion in new loans. We cannot afford that. As it is, we are already stuck in a merry-go-round of borrowing,” said Rehman.
 “The government does not have a coherent economic framework, nor does it seem to be bothered by this economic freefall. Everyone, from top economists to the IMF and World Bank pointed out the need for structural reforms and clearer policies. No one in the Ministry of Finance seems to pay heed,” continued Rehman.
“There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from looking at all these figures and it is that this government’s regressive economic policies have failed and severely damaged Pakistan’s economy. No country can become truly sovereign if it relies on loans and foreign aid as a matter of form. Borrowing in the form of short-term loans has become the Finance Minister’s de facto policy and as many have warned, this is could be catastrophic,” concluded the Senator.

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Zardari concerned over bid to stifle freedom of expression

Islamabad May 24, 2017: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed grave concern over the government’s bid to make a pitch for stifling dissent and freedom of expression just when frontiers of human rights were expanding worldwide.

In a statement today he said that freedom of expression has been increasingly attacked by both state and non-state actors on various pretexts. “This trend must be resisted and reversed”.

Next to the right to life, the right to freedom of expression is fundamental as all other rights flow from this right, he said.

“Curbing right to freedom of expression in effect means curbing all other rights”.

The PPP cannot and will not allow it, he said.

Clamping a ban on social media and otherwise curbing expression and dissent in the name of vaguely defined ‘national security’ must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

The government cannot be allowed to wield power arbitrarily or whimsically. There has to be balance between concerns of ‘national security’ on the one hand and the fundamental right of people to freedom of expression on the other, he said. “The balance must be tilted in favor of freedom of expression in accordance with best democratic practices”

Zardari recalled how the previous PPP government endured media criticism that at times was vicious against his person and other leaders of the Party but at no stage the Party contemplated clamping curbs on the media.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar added that Zardari has already directed the Party’s legislative committee to deliberate on the issue and suggest appropriate legislative measures to ensure that the right to freedom of expression was  not curbed on any pretext.

The PPP will forcefully resist bid to silence political dissent or curb freedom of expression in the name of security or ideology, he said.