Sindh Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President and former federal minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi has said that it is beyond understanding that by-polls on 70 National Assembly seats could be conducted in March but general elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab can’t be held due to uncertain security situations even though by-polls will also take place in these two provinces, which are supposedly unsafe.
Addressing a press conference at the Sindh PTI Secretariat in Karachi on Monday, Zaidi termed the All Parties Conference (APC) a political drama of the PDM government. He asked when all these parties are present in the parliament except the PTI and Sheikh Rashid, then why they can’t hold this discussion in the National Assembly rather holding the APC.
Zaidi said that the insistence of the “imported government” on the attendance of the PTI in the APC is an admission by the PDM that no political decision can be made without Imran Khan and the PTI. Also, he said, this reveals that the PDM is trying to run away from the elections.
He said that a mega scandal was exposed by the Secretary Sindh Local Government Board Zameer Abbasi at the end of last month regarding 5,500 ghost employees within the department. However, he alleged that after this discovery, Zameer Abbasi was dismissed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Zaidi said the salaries were paid to these ghost employees in their banks accounts and likely cost to the taxpayers of Sindh could run into billions of rupees per month. This was a story of only one department out of 38 departments functioning under the Sindh government, he added.
He asked why this scandal isn’t being noticed by relevant institutions like NAB, Anti-Corruption Cell, the judiciary and the media. The real purpose of hiring ghost employees within the Sindh government departments was to rig elections, he said, adding that these employees end up being appointed as presiding officers when elections occurred, just like the recent local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad in January. The PTI is committed to conducting a “de-Zardarification campaign to free Sindh of the Zardari mafia and Zardariism”, he said.
Zaidi touched upon the economic achievements of the PTI government in its final year in power. Former PM Imran Khan and the PTI government, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22 and the SBP Annual Report 2021-22, surpassed many economic targets like GDP growth, agricultural growth, industrial growth, service sector growth, exports and electricity generation capacity. This, Zaidi said, indicates that the PTI were better managers of the economy despite the propaganda of the PDM and their media stooges.
In terms of the Pakistan rupee devaluation against the US dollar, he said, the average devaluation per month under the 43-month tenure of the PTI government was Rs1.43, whereas the average devaluation under the 10 months of the imported government is Rs9.15 per month.
Sadly, Zaidi said, now every sector of the economy is hurting, and Pakistan is facing a major brain drain as nearly 800,000 professional and trained people have left. Also, inflation has tripled under the imported government and domestic cotton production has declined to result in imports of three million bales, which isn’t possible due to the forex crisis.
Zaidi concluded the press conference with a single solution to all the crises facing Pakistan -- a free and fair snap election.