Economic conditions to affect next polls: Shahbaz | Pakistan Today

Economic conditions to affect next polls: Shahbaz

LAHORE – Economic uplift of the country as well as the masses would remain the focal point of the next general elections as the worsening economic conditions have become a matter of prime importance for the common man, Chief Coordinator All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and former federal minister Chaudhry Shahbaz said in an exclusive interview with Pakistan Today.
He stated that owing to sky rocketing price hike and inflation, the issue of improvement in economic conditions is becoming a matter of life and death for the poor. All striking slogans of democracy and public empowerment have lost enthrall as commoners strive against non-affordability of medication, food and shelter.
He expressed alarm at the rising distinction between poor and moneyed class in Pakistani society thus envisaging chaos. He claimed that the stage has set for the revolution and nation is waiting for the arrival of a genuine leader who, in the shape of Musharraf, is ready to play his role in getting the country out of crises.
He added that Pakistan is facing a leadership crisis and “no political party (there) today can handle the situation”. He announced that 2011 is the year of Musharraf’s return from exile and the APML leadership will provide him with full consultation in this regard. He added that no cases can restrict Musharraf from coming back as none has a legal standing. He added that thousands of people are joining the party, awaiting Musharraf’s arrival.
Answering a supplementary question, he said the APML will definitely contest election regardless of when they happen. He claimed that several politicians were in contact with Musharraf and would join the APML once he arrives. He demanded the government hold local bodies elections immediately.
In reply to a question about the unification of all leaguers, Shahbaz said the APML might make an alliance in case this does not happen. The APML leader termed the political tussle between PPP and PML-N as a ‘Noora Kushti’ (fixed match) and an eye-wash to swerve masses’ attention from the real issue of providing relief to common man.
He claimed that PML-N was afraid of Musharraf’s popularity and penetration among masses. Giving the APML’s strategy to tackle terrorist activities and chaos in FATA and tribal areas, he said APML will apply a three-tiered strategy – military, political and socioeconomic – to fight terrorism.
He said the situation in Pakistan was deteriorating just because of the fighters and intruders from Libya, Egypt, Saudia, Tunisia , Yemen and Chechnya who exploited the tribal people’s tradition of hospitality and established terrorist dens there.
Shahbaz said that in the past, they thought they needed to gradually get the region away from the tribal culture and bring the provincial, local and national governments in to play. But the demand of the day is very different.
Replying to a question about Musharraf’s wrong pacts with the US and about the controversial US drone attacks, Shahbaz said Musharraf agreed with Washington at the time when India was trying to damage Pakistan’s nuclear assets hence Musharraf granted these strikes to target al Qaeda and Taliban militants.
He however said that targets must be on the terrorist dens only. Over the Balochistan situation, he denied all allegations on Musharraf and said that roads, infrastructure, schools, Gawadar port and many other mega projects started during his time to benefit Balochs but some tribal leaders, having background of anti-Pakistan moves, worked against government.
Shahbaz claimed that they have APML office even in Dera Bugti and that reflects Musharraf’s support among the Baloch. On Raymond Davis issue, he was of the view that both federal and provincial governments mishandled the administrative matters and political point scoring deteriorated the situation. He said as the case was in court of law, he could not comment in detail over it.

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