Bilawal asks PPP workers to step up flood relief work in Pak
Last Updated: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 23:15
Islamabad: Pakistan's ruling PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday asked his party workers to step up efforts to rehabilitate people affected by the devastating floods so that "selfish politicians" could not use this "monumental crisis" to act against the government.

In a message to PPP workers, the Britain-based Bilawal said they should not rest until every house in flood-hit villages was rebuilt and life returns to normalcy.

"Selfish politicians who want to use the floods to drown government should be left groundless. Leave them to their remote control revolutions. Let not those who want to exploit the misery of the people for their personal gains stage their sordid actions at the expense of the sufferings of the people," Bilawal said.

"I beseech you: ignore the politics of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, go all out to serve the people to the best of your ability to bring to an end their miseries."

His message came as the PPP-led government's inept handling of the floods and growing frustration among victims sparked speculation about a change in the administration.

PPP chief and President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have dismissed reports of threats to the government and asserted that it will complete its term.

In his message, Bilawal said PPP workers will have to prove to the nation that they are the inheritors of the Bhutto legacy that thrives on self-sacrifice.

He asked the workers to organise in groups to coordinate rehabilitation and relief efforts. Each group can adopt a village for reconstruction work, he added.

Bilawal said the floods have triggered a "monumental crisis" as over 20 million people have been affected and about one million houses, 5,000 km of roads and 7,000 schools destroyed.

One-fifth of the country has been marooned, causing loss of cash crops worth three billion dollars while overall damage to infrastructure is estimated at 43 billion dollars.

Though the enormity of the crisis has been recognised by the international community, it is the Pakistani nation which will have to stand up to the challenge to rebuild the country, Bilawal said.

He said President Zardari was making a determined effort to enable the economic and social uplift of Pakistan.

This was a "tall order" after nine years of military rule in Pakistan and only last year there was a massive exodus of over two million people from Swat due to security operations against Taliban insurgents, he said.

"The government has successfully settled the communities back in their homes after securing the militancy-hit areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkwa," Bilawal said.


Jammu: Asserting that the National Conference-Congress coalition government will continue in Jammu and Kashmir, JKPCC chief Saifuddin Soz today said that his party will facilitate the dialogue process between the Centre and parties in the state.

"Congress and NC coalition will continue and we will not fall short on our responsibility," Soz said addressing a party workers' convention at Chenani, about 90 kms from here in Udhampur district.

The coalition government would carry out its task of bringing peace and ensuring development of all the three regions of the state, he said.

The JKPCC chief said that his party will facilitate the dialogue process between the Centre and parties in the state whatever be the political resolution at the end.

The dialogue and discussions will help in arriving at the "mean" point to resolve the issues of the state, he said, adding his party believes in unity and integrity of all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to the recent visit of the all-party delegation to Kashmir, Soz said that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent the team to assess the situation in the state and to listen to the viewpoints of all concerned.

Soz said that he pleaded with the delegation that the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh should remain united whatever be the outcome of the dialogue process.

Referring to verdict to be pronounced on Ayodhya title suit, The Congress leader urged the people of the state to remain peaceful.

On Pakistan, he said that it failed in its designs to promote continuance of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir and today is itself in the grip of terrorism.


First Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 23:15

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