Pakistan Peoples Party Official

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Comprehensive electoral reforms needed says Asif Ali Zardari

Islamabad February 24, 2015: Electoral rigging and horse trading at multiple levels is a major issue that lies at the root of manipulated power transfer and needs to be addressed comprehensively in a holistic manner instead of looking for piecemeal solutions.

This has been stated by former president Asif Ali Zardari while commenting on the proposal to amend the Constitution to conduct senate elections through show of hand instead of secret ballot.

It is good that the government seems to have realized that horse trading in senate elections is a serious issue that has done great disservice to the Parliament and political processes and needs to be addressed, he said.

However, rigging in elections and horse trading take place at multiple levels and need to be comprehensively addressed, he said.

One hopes that the apparent realization on the part f the government to address horse trading will not be a political gimmickry but a first step towards comprehensive electoral reforms, he said.

If the government is serious it should invite all political parties to decide on how best to prevent electoral rigging not only in the Senate but also in the National Assembly, the provincial Assemblies and now also in the local bodies polls, he said.

We recently witnessed the near break down of the civilian and political structures due to the demonstrations and protests against fraud and rigging in the 2013 general elections, the former President said. The parliament and the government were saved from total collapse by the unprecedented unity and commitment of political but it should not lull us into believing that issues in electoral fraud will not rear their ugly heads in the future, he said.

Electoral reforms and preventing horse trading should be addressed by all parties together and not by the government alone. The government should therefore convene a meeting of all political parties to address horse trading in senate elections as well as electoral fraud and rigging of all types including those recently agitated by Imran Khan’s Tehrik Insaf.


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Asif Zardari inaugurates Asia’s largest solar desalination plant in Mithi

Mithi, January 7, 2015: Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Mr. Asif Ali Zardari has directed provincial government of Sindh to complete construction of 750 RO plants in various villages of Tharparkar by June this year and thereafter every village should have a RO plant to meet the basic requirement of water of the people of the area.

He said this while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Desalination complex in Mithi in Tharparkar today.

He said that today was a most auspicious day in the history of Tharparkar as the Asia’s largest solar desalination plant complex had been completed by the energy department of the provincial government. The plant will provide 8 million liters per day of drinking water in addition to producing one MW of electricity benefitting the people of Mithi city besides about one hundred villages.

He said the government was committed to providing basic necessities of life to the people of far flung areas and asked the provincial government to complete the ongoing development projects within the stipulated time frame.

The former President also directed the provincial government to install more tube wells and promote livestock business by developing institutional mechanisms including special loans and banking facilities for the purpose.

He gave these directions during a meeting in the Darbar hall in Mithi called to discuss issues of Thar.

The meeting was attended by Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim ali Shah, provincial ministers, MNAs, MPAs, chief secretary and senior officials of relevant departments and local administration. Former President’s daughter Bakhtwar Bhutto Zardari was also present in the meeting.

The former President called for the establishment of desalination plants in other areas of district Tharparkar particularly Islamkot, Nangarparkar, Diplo and Dahli. He said that after the establishment of water plants the people who were in the business of water supply through bowsers could shift to general transpiration of people and goods and asked the Sindh government to assist the businessmen in relocating their businesses.

About corporate farming the former President called for carrying out fresh survey and re-mapping of Thar with the assistance of local MNAs and MPAs to address the concerns of the people.

Late talking to party MPs and workers the PPP Co-Chairman said that the Party while playing the role of vibrant opposition is also aware of its national obligations towards the country and the people beyond partisan politics. He said that the nation was passing through critical times and some difficult decisions had to be taken in the larger national interest. He said that the Party will keep a close watch that the new measures aimed at curbing militancy were neither misused nor allowed to become a permanent feature beyond the constitutionally stipulated time period.


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Former President describes militants as Bokoharam of Pakistan

Condemns the Peshawar school attack, asks Party to mount relief and rehabilitation work

Calls for fighting to the finish ‘existential threat’ to  Pakistan

Islamabad December 16, 2016: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has denounced the militants’ attack on the school in Peshawar killing over 130 innocent children as ‘most barbaric, atrocious and inhuman that will hang the heads of every civilized person in any age and any clime’.

In a statement denouncing the incident the former President said the Bokoharam of Pakistan striking in the fashion of their kinsmen in Africa on Tuesday morning in Peshawar by targeting school children is a dark day in the history of this country. The crime has been committed on a dark day of our history when Pakistan was dismembered this day in 1971, he said.

The monstrous cruelty and sheer barbarism together with the symbolism of perpetrating it today should open the eyes of all those who give the nation lectures that the exterminated militants are ‘martyrs in the cause of a noble fight’.

Let there be no doubt or mistake that the religious extremists and fanatics are the worst enemies of the country and its people. There is no alternative to fight them to the finish for the very survival of Pakistan and our future generations. The absence of alternative to fighting the monster must make the mind of every self proclaimed puritan very clear, the former President said.

Mr. Zardari said that this incident should also strengthen the resolve of the nation to stand together against this existential threat to the security and stability of the country.  ‘Let us be clear’, the former President said, adding also, ‘the enemy is not external but internal; it lives and thrives in our midst and is nurtured and sustained in the name of religion’.

Expressing profound condolences the former President prayed for eternal rest to all the martyred, early recovery of those injured and patience to the bereaved families.

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also directed the Party leaders to suspend all activities and immediately mount efforts aimed at relief and rehabilitation of the victim families. He also called upon the Party workers to visit the hospitals and donate blood to those injured.

On this occasion let it also be said that the whole nation stands behind the law enforcing agencies in the ongoing operation against the militants and salutes the sacrifices, courage and determination of our armed forces and the courage and resilience of the people.

Nation and Political leadership should forget ther difference and its time to be united and fight together against these extremists, he said. We need to have only one agenda now  for the sake of our country and if we will not do this than they will keep killings us like this so we need to be together as a nation. Mr Zardari said that our children are getting Martyred and now we can’t sit and only condemn these incidents. As a politician it’s our duty to bring the whole nation together so that we can fight together.


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Former President lauds Nobel Peace Prize to Malala

Says it will spur quest for education

Calls it a declaration against the cowardice of militants and extremists

Islamabad December 11, 2014: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated Malala Yousufzai as “the pride of Pakistan” who as the world’s youngest Nobel laureate has sent a powerful political message that Pakistan is much more than what critics call ‘the epicenter of international terrorism’.

“The Noble Peace Prize to Malala is a declaration that if cowardly militants can rear their ugly heads there also are the hands to put those ugly heads down”, said the former President in his message of felicitations.

Malala’s courageous defiance of militants is an extraordinary attempt to change the society from within as against imposing a change from the outside the former President said adding ‘this indeed has been the focus of the Prize when it was first instituted by Alfred Nobel’.

A nation whose children can produce Malalas can never be cowed down by the extremists and their perverted religious ideology, he said.

Malala symbolizes the defiant cry of human spirit against bigotry, fanaticism and religious extremism that will continue to echo unto eternity, Mr. Asif Zardari said.

The former President said that the honor bestowed on Malala by the international community is a declaration that religious bigotry can best be banished through collective action.

The Noble Peace Prize to Malala will spur quest for education particularly women education in the country. And this is what we need more than anything else, he said recalling the words of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, “if women are truly to be defined by their own accomplishments, they need the level of education that empowers them.”

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari also referred to the question asked by Malala in her acceptance speech and called upon the intellectuals and leaders of thought to answer ‘Why is it that giving guns is so easy, but giving books is so hard?’.


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Former President condoles death of Usman Bilor

Islamabad December 11, 2012: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed profound grief and shock over the death of Usman Bilor son of late ANP leader and former provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilor in Peshawar.

Usman Bilor former President of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chambr of Commerce and Industry and son of ANP leader Bashir Bilor who himself was assassinated by militants in a suicide attack some time back died of cardiac arrest in Peshawar the other day.

In a condolence message the former President said that the death of young Usman Bilor had sadden him and his thoughts and prayers were with the bereaved Bilor family on this occasion.

He also prayed for eternal rest to the soul of late Usman Bilor and patience to the members of bereaved family to bear this great loss with equanimity.


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Asif Ali Zardari meets Ali Akbar Wilayati; bilateral, regional and international issues discussed

Asif Ali Zardari meets Ali Akbar Wilayati

Bilateral, regional and international issues discussed

 

Stresses greater economic cooperation between the two countries

 

Tehran December 11, 2014: Former President Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday evening met Ali Akbar Wilayati Advisor to the Rehbar Ayatullah Ali Khamenei on Foreign Affairs and discussed matters of mutual interest.

Former President Asif Ali Zarari was in Tehran to participate in the two day first international conference on World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) organized by the Iranian Institute of Political and International Studies in the Iranian capital.

The meeting was also attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador in Tehran Nur Muhammad Jadmani, Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar and former Tehran Ambassador in Islamabad MashaAllah Shakiri and other senior officials of the Iranian Foreign Office.

Talking with Ali Akbar Wilayati the former President said that there was great potential to further enhance trade and economic relations and greater cooperation in the energy sector between the two countries. He said that the two countries could mutually benefit from barter trade to ease the pressure on foreign exchange reserves. He said that surplus wheat in Sindh could be exported to Iran under the barter system in return for building by Iran of some infrastructure projects in the province and commodity imports from Iran.

Regional situation and international situation also came under discussion during the meeting. The former President said that the Muslim World was confronted with the great challenge of fighting the militant mindset and said that it could be fought comprehensively with regional cooperation, steadfastness and mounting a vigorous intellectual challenge to the militants’ narrative and interpretation of religion.

The former President said that issues in border security between the two countries needed to be tackled through the multi layered institutional mechanisms available for the purpose.

Ali Akbar Wilayati reciprocated the sentiments about deeper Pak-Iran relations. Later the former President left for Dubai.


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Former President Asif Ali Zardari worries about dangerous turn of events in Middle East

Tehran December 9, 2014: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has said that he was worried about the dangerous turn of events in the Middle East, North Africa and Euro Asia because Pakistan had suffered grievously from the sustained blowback of terrorism and extremism and urged the countries involved to take a leaf from history as the best compass to navigate path in these dark times.

He said this while addressing a conference on militancy in Tehran today. The conference was organized by Institute of Political and International Studies. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presided over the conference.

State fragility in the heart of the Middle East caused by non state actors from different parts of the world including the west was a huge challenge causing sleepless nights in many big capitals of the world, he said.

He recalled that as President he resisted global attempts to rush into wars in the Middle East because any support to the rebel groups would trigger state meltdowns and dangerous security vacuums. He said that Pakistan did not vote with its non-Nato allies at the United Nations for intervening in Syria mainly because he had seen what chaos such choice had brought in the past.

I did not want Pakistan standing on the wrong side of history again, he said.

Thirty years ago when a great game was being played between super powers in our region the international community and short sighted policies joined hands to breath oxygen into the monster of terrorism and extremism, he said adding ‘that conflict spilled over our borders to reap a long harvest of violence with an unending tailwind’.

Pakistan and the neighborhood today still suffers the aftershocks of that encounter where we were left to host one of the world’s largest concentration of refugees and a conflict economy of narcotics, Kalashnikovs, and extremist mindsets.

Our border areas became the refuge of militants on the run and made this area for over a decade the nursery of international terrorism.

Terrorism and extremism is the core challenge facing the current millennium and warned against sectarian conflict brewing in the Islamic world.

Explaining the nature of this new monster he quoted from a speech of Shaheed Benazir Bhuto in which warning against it she had said, This is the one where bigots feel that Sunnis must kill Shias and Shias must kill Sunnis, and that both must kill Hindus, Jews and Christians.”

Let us be candid today he told the audience pleading also ‘there is no point blaming one another, or pointing fingers’ and called for “long-term solutions, not band-aids”.

He said that while big powers could afford to walk away from the mess the countries in the region had no such luxury. “We have to make big-ticket changes in policy and course correction”,

The former President said that course corrections don’t come without a price-tag of blood and treasure and recounted the price Pakistan had paid in fighting this battle since the last five years.

He said that today Pakistan’s efforts to battle extremism, sectarianism and terrorism with renewed determination and vigor are evident to all and expressed the hope that the world will no longer accuse Pakistan of using militants for advancing its security and foreign policy agendas in the region.

“I am encouraged that Pakistan’s determination to stand as a bulwark against terrorism is also reflected in the new Afghan President’s declaration that he wishes to forget the past and start afresh”.

Sustainable peace in Pakistan is not really possible without an Afghanistan that is politically stable, he said and added that consistent outreach and signaling of backing no political favorites and non-interference in Afghanistan will bear some strategic dividends.

With India too with whom we share borders, climate risks, culture and communities our policy of moving past coercive diplomacy is important.

He said that Pakistan is looking to invest in peace in the region, but it will not respond well to conditions messaged at us across the working boundary or the media. Hard postures are not the way forward for mature countries.

He said that there are no military solutions to any inter-state conflicts in South Asia or even the world because the enemy has mutated to a new kind of monster. It recruits lost souls and preys on the fearful and misled for its violent march of death and plunder.

He called upon the regional leaders to wake up to the reality that widespread poverty, displacements and food and water insecurity are the new common enemy to save the planet from new nightmares.

Durable peace demands that the legitimate aspirations of the people are accommodated peacefully consistent with sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity without foreign interference, the former President said.

Some hard choices have to be made he said adding “peace in this region will continue to elude us until the legitimate aspirations of the people of Palestine and Kashmir were met”.

Regions will have to work as connected blocs not just by the micro-chip but by their infrastructure resources and markets.

Hydel-power diplomacy the politics of pipelines regional connectivity all these will come to little if we are not as leaders able to understand and connect to each other. The more we communicate and cooperate the more we can share responsibilities as well as positive outcomes.

TAPI CASA and IPI pipelines are the kind of motors we need for growth for the provision of jobs in a marketplace where extremism thrives in the soil of multiple deprivations.

He said that he supported Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy as it is essential for the survival and development of countries that host large populations and expressed the hope that Iran find pathways that accommodate both national and global compulsions.

Later former President Asif Ali Zardari called on President Hassan Rouhani and discussed bilateral, regional and international issues.