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PPP’s Nasser Bagh protest: Sharifs targeted for ‘power fiasco, Indian connection’

PPP’s Nasser Bagh protest: Sharifs targeted for ‘power fiasco, Indian connection’

LAHORE: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah lashed out at the rulers for what he said hurting national interest and democracy for their personal gains as the Pakistan People’s Party set up a protest camp against loadshedding here on Thursday.

The prime minister secretly met Indian business tycoon Sajjan Jindal, while Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar publicly “overreacted to a minor issue” in his Wah Cantonment press conference, Shah said while speaking at the camp and earlier at the residence of a PPP leader.

“You’ll have to tell the nation what transpired in the secret meeting with Jindal. You conspired against Pakistani institutions just for wealth!” he said and urged the masses to donate Re1 daily “to satiate the lust of the Sharifs for wealth.”

Questioning the Nawaz-Jindal meeting’s timing when Pakistani soldiers here and Kashmiris across the Line of Control were laying down their lives, he also raised a finger at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden appearance at the wedding of Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter, he said, it was a move “unprecedented in the history”.

The opposition leader also lamented that Chaudhry Nisar went public in his “overreaction” to a “petty issue” and termed it another ploy to pitch institutions against each other.

The interior minister had said he visited Wah Ordnance Factory against an advisory by security agencies, warning him of a terrorist attack on the facility, adding the attack, if occurred, would put a question mark on the performance of the agencies.

Mr Shah warned that such a conflict would neither benefit the country nor democracy. To save the country, he said the so-called democratic government would have to be sent packing.

He also chided the ruling party for failing to fulfill its promise of overcoming power loadshedding issue in six months and said the prime minister might survive Panama and News Leaks cases but won’t be spared by the masses in the “loadshedding case”.

He held Nawaz Sharif responsible for power outages, recalling that his (Nawaz’s) government in 1997 had rescinded the power generation agreements signed by late prime minister Benazir Bhutto with independent power producers (IPPs).

Former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira addressed the participants in Punjabi and charged them by repeatedly using Punjabi phrase “keeta ki aye” (what have you done), while questioning huge financial gains of the Sharifs despite showing their mills in losses. He criticised Nawaz government for their failure in improving various national institutions and socio-economic sector.

He wondered at mysterious fires gutting record of various mega projects launched by the Sharifs and requested the Supreme Court to safeguard its record (of Panama case).

He announced that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would begin next phase of agitation by holding a public meeting in Lahore soon.

Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said the camp was set up to remind Sharif brothers of their promises (regarding loadshedding). Referring to Panama case, he said premier’s son Husain Nawaz “confessed” to committing (financial) “crime” only to save Maryam Nawaz and then both Rao Tehsin and Tariq Fatemi were made scapegoat for the same purpose.

Earlier, a large number of PPP activists from within and outside Lahore turned up at the Nasser Bagh to join the protest camp.

Many believed that the party managed to put a fairly better public show after years in the provincial metropolis.

The Jiyalas, carrying hand-fans and party flags, would dance to the beat of drum raising slogans of “Go Nawaz go”.

The hand-fans were meant to taunt Chief Minister Shahabz Sharif who had held various official meetings at PML-N’s Minar-i-Pakistan camp using hand-fans to highlight power shortage issue in 2012 when the PPP was in power in the centre.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2017

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