Defections from PML-N not a good omen for democracy: Chandio

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  • Says no substitute for PPP in Sindh

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Information Secretary and Senator Maula Bukhsh Chandio on Wednesday said that defection of eight parliamentarians from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is not a good omen for democracy and the PPP does not support this move.

Speaking at Lahore Press Club (LPC) on Wednesday, Chandio said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is reaping what he sowed.  “Where democratic culture was for Nawaz Sharif when he came into power after a group of 40 parliamentarians led by Atta Maneka joined the PML-N?” he questioned.

Lashing out at Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for ridiculing Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, the PPP senator said that the prime minister should not have insulted an institution of which he was a part. “Where was he [Abbasi] and his leader Nawaz when he [Sanjrani] was elected as a senator?” he asked.

“After his victory in Senate polls, Nawaz Sharif and the premier have started beating the drum against Sanjrani,” Chandio said, adding: “The PM should support leaders from the smaller province and respect their mandate. The calculation is very simple. The opposition candidate won against the government candidate and there is nothing more than that.”

Talking about a grand opposition alliance against the PPP in Sindh, which has also announced to muster support in Punjab against the Zardari-led PPP, he said, “There is no substitute of PPP in Sindh. Whenever elections come, leaders of such alliances surface and make some noise. Before that, such leaders remain in deep slumbers.”

“The Pakistan People’s Party is not worried about such alliances,” he said.

Chandio affirmed that the caretaker set-up would come under the purview of law and the constitution and with the consultation of all stakeholders.

Ruling out the demand for a separate province in Sindh, the PPP leader said that it was a demand of a less known organisation [MQM] and not theirs.

“As far as separate province for people of South Punjab is concerned, it is a rightful demand and the PPP fully endorses it,” he said, adding that the PML-N always suppresses voice of people from smaller provinces, and it is doing the same with people of South Punjab but PPP will not let it happen.”

Chandio ruled the possibility of forming an alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the upcoming general elections due in July. “The PPP will not form an alliance with the PTI as the two parties have different ideologies.”

The senator also criticised Nawaz Sharif for insulting Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto during his government’s tenure and predicted tough times ahead for PML-N leadership.

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