ISLAMABAD, Aug 10 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on
Monday presided over yet another consultative meeting of the PPP, the second
during the past five weeks.“The meeting was essentially a brain storming session to
discuss within the party a host of political issues that have to come to the
fore in the light of recent developments”, said Farhatullah Babar spokesperson
to the President while briefing the media about the meeting.
The last such consultative meeting was held on July 3 in
the Presidency which was also attended by the Prime Minister and the Party’s
senior leadership from all the provinces, he said.
Besides the Prime Minister the Monday’s meeting was
attended by Mian Raza Rabbani, Syed Naveed Qamar, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Dr Babar
Awan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Afzal Sindhu, Farhatullah Babar,
Fauzia Wahab, Fauzia Habib, Farahnaz Ispahani, Mehrin Anwar Raja, Pir Mazharul
Haq, Sardar Ali Khan, Rahimdad Khan, Ayaz Soomro and Mir Baz Kethran.
The President briefed the meeting on the recent dialogue of
the PPP delegation with PML-N leadership in Raiwind, his visit to Dushanbe, the
China initiative to address economic, developmental and security issues, the
FoDP initiative and the power crisis in the country.
He also gave a bird eye view of the evolving political
situation before inviting every one to speak his and her mind.
Addressing the meeting he said that the brain storming
meeting was aimed at making a frank, dispassionate and critical review of the
overall political situation in the country and invite the participants to give
their candid views on various issues of concern.
“ The PPP is a dynamic and forward looking Party that
possesses the strength to look inwardly”, he said adding, “The greater the inner
strength the greater is the ability to confidently address weaknesses with hope
The Party’s Co Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari
reiterated the Party’s commitment to uphold the principles laid down in the
Charter of Democracy signed in May 2006 and also to the principles enshrined in
the Party’s manifesto.
The President said that the setting up of the Parliamentary
Committee was a welcome development to purge the Constitution of all anti
democracy clauses introduced into it by dictatorial regimes. He asked for a
separate briefing later this week on the progress made in this regard.
He said the Party should make full use of this opportunity
to hammer out reforms in the Constitution with the consensus and support of all
other parties, without any delay.
The President said that power shortage in the country
during summer had resulted in public discontent and asked the Water and Power
Minister to ensure that the private power producers fulfilled their contractual
obligations to bring all their projects on line before the end of the year.
He said that government will not brook any delay in the
completion of the rental power projects.
Farhatullah Babar said that the President also asked the
Petroleum Minister Naveed Qamar to furnish a report on 16 gas fields in Sindh
reportedly abandoned by the OGDC as depleted fields. With modern technology the
abandoned gas fields can be reactivated to produce more gas to meet the
country’s growing needs, he said.
He said that during his recent visit to Tajikistan the
three countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan had agreed to build rail
roads and highways that will give Tajikistan access to the sea through the
Pakistani sea ports and enable Pakistan to export its products to the vast
Central Asian markets.
The over 1300 kilometer long road will pass through the
4550 meters Durah pass from Chitral and follow the
Iskatul-Ulkhana-Ishkashim-Khorugh-Kulaikhumb-Kulab-Kofirnigan route to the Tajik
capital of Dushanbe. The feasibility of the road project would be ready by
November this year, he said.
The President said that opening up of road links was
critical to bringing the countries of the region closer together and for
increasing trade and people to people contacts for the economic and social
benefits of all countries.
He said that the three countries also agreed to set up the
regional electricity networks, the central piece of which was the World Bank
aided power transmission line from Tajikistan to Pakistan known as the Central
Asia- South Asia CASA-1000.
The President said that the China initiative included
building over a dozen small dozens in different part of country, development of
Thar coal for power generation, hybrid seed technology, dredging of the Tarbela
dam and the building of the Kohala dam project.
A Chinese firm had already agreed to take a fresh look at
the Thar Coal project, he said adding that the project after completion will
open new vistas of development and prosperity.
He said that during the last one year nearly fifty new
initiatives had been undertaken with China and thirty MOUs signed.
The President directed that all the development projects
being negotiated with China will also invariably include security for the
project and its personnel in the feasibility studies.
The President also asked the Ministers and Party leaders to
go out into the field, meet the people and hold open kutcheries to redress the
grievances of the people.
He asked Ministers to give immediate response to any public
criticism of the working of their ministries and explain to the people the true
facts both in the Parliament and through the media.
He said the Prime Minister had already issued instructions
in this regard and these must be followed in letter and spirit.
After the President’s opening remarks the floor was opened
and all participants expressed their views on a host of issues of national
A large number of participants spoke on the occasion and
besides expressing views also made specific recommendations on how to address
The meeting expressed confidence in the leadership of
Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and the government of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf