LAHORE (October 28, 2011) : This was a really a huge and impressive rally in the history of Lahore. Thousands shouted and cry “Go Zardari Go”. All roads adjoining Bhati Gate and Nasir Bgah were full of peoples belonging to all walks of life.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has demanded President Asif Ali Zardari step down as head of the state, or the Parliament will hold him accountable. Zardari must resign as president, the PML-N leader insisted, saying that if he did not do so, the Parliament would hold him accountable. “And if the Parliament failed, the masses from Karachi to Peshawar going against him, will hang him along with his group of looters at the Bhaati Chowk,” he declared.
“Asif Zardari has ruined the country and made it hollow on all counts and giving him (Zardari) any further time will be disastrous for the country and the nation,” Shahbaz said while addressing a huge public rally held in connection with the PML-N ‘Go Zardari Go’ drive launched against the rampant corruption, unemployment, loadshedding, price hike, and unrest under, what the party claims, Asif Ali Zardari, in the country.
The protest rally from Nasir Bagh to Bhaati Chowk found people all around, not only within the prescribed area but wide outside it. The rally was conspicuously marked by loud slogans against President Zardari and it saw the public exuberance reaching a peak when Shahbaz Sharif himself led the slogans against the president.
The speech of Shahbaz Sharif was a strong tirade against President Zardari whom he more than once called ‘Madari’ (juggler) while disowning him as the president of Pakistan. “How can I accept a person my president who sends greeting letter to America on the May 2 (day of Osama’s killing) incident” which was a matter of great humiliation for the country, he said. He said Zardari was day in, day out busy looting the country, and tainted with NRO, was leading corruption in the country. He said he cannot accept such a person his president.
Shahbaz said people were badly crying out of pains given by the acts of Zardari and the present ‘ocean of people’ was the popular verdict, and a last nail in the coffin of Zardari’s rule and the clique of plunderers he (Zardari) leads. He said the Jiyalas (PPP loyalists) who are loyal to Benazir Bhutto Shaheed are also fed up with Zardari and want him no more in the office. The Jiyalas now say they are not purchased slaves of Zardari.
The outspoken PML-N leader was particularly hard hitting at Zardari’s absence from the country whenever any calamity hit Pakistan. He said Zardari was enjoying in London when floods hit Sindh and did not come out when Southern Punjab was inundated. The CM, while holding Zardari responsible for loadshedding and all other ills in the country, said that under his patronage PIA and Railways have reached to the verge of collapse while billions have been plundered from Pakistan Steel Mill through commissions and kickbacks. On the contrary, he said, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave to the nation Motorway, Gwadar Port, new airports, Green Channel and a solid infrastructure which all today are under the ‘ominous shadow’ of Zardari. He said everyone today says that Zardari and his tola (group) has ruined the country and they must go.
Justifying why the PML-N afforded three and a half years rule of PPP while getting the stigma of friendly Opposition, he said, they wanted to let the government complete the tenure as it had never happened with a democratically elected government in the past and while allowing the government to continue Nawaz Sharif exercised patience with a heavy heart. But the PPP, he said, took it as their weakness which was a mistake on its part. He said today the whole nation was determined not to let ‘Ali Baba and 40 thieves’ play their game any more and they would not take a rest unless they (PPP) are out.
Shahbaz said solution to today’s national problems was the same as was adopted by Nawaz Sharif in making Pakistan stronger during his tenures. He said it was Nawaz Sharif who reached to the marooned Sindhis in recent floods and he has a programme to put the country back to the road of progress and development again. He said they believe in justice to all and want everyone to have shelter and quality education for the children throughout the country.
Mentioning the Danish Schools and Ashiyana Housing projects initiated by his government, the Punjab CM said his government was strictly following merit and the recent induction of 70,000 teachers was a proof of that. At the top of official hierarchy in Punjab, he said, corruption has been completely stamped out while stern action was taken wherever he learned this evil was being practiced anywhere, and no one was spared.
(Published in “TheNation”)