Ex-ally becomes foe in spat over poll date

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ISLAMABAD: Amid reports of political wheeling and dealing to force more delay in holding the general elections, the PPP on Saturday reiterated its call for an immediate announcement of the polls schedule, asserting it was the sole means to steer the country out of the myriad of crises.

PPP’s Faisal Karim Kundi’s statement in the wake of a recent meeting between JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif during which the head of the PDM had sought the former premier’s backing for postponing the elections beyond January.

“The PPP’s only demand now is that the general elections should be held,” Kundi wrote in the statement. He added that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should announce the poll schedule as soon as possible.

The PPP leader expressed concern that the increasing inflation, unemployment, and economic troubles were robbing the less fortunate of their will to survive.

He continued that each time the PPP assumed power, the country developed and employment opportunities were created for the youth.

Kundi said even today, nine million poor families were receiving financial aid through the Benazir Income Support Programme and went on to assert that under the leadership of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari as the foreign minister, Pakistan’s international reputation was successfully restored.

The PPP leader pledged that if Bilawal became the country’s premier, the woes of its people would come to an end.
Last week, Shehbaz and Fazl agreed to move forward through consultation and cooperation, despite their quarrel over the date of the next general polls.

Just a day before their meeting, the JUI-F chief criticised the PPP and PML-N for their approval of the new census results in a cabinet meeting. He argued that now, as new constituencies were being demarcated based on these results, the two parties were eager for early polls.

Fazl also objected to conducting the general polls in January, citing the extreme cold weather in the northern regions of the country.

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