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PM hints at holding LB polls next year

gilani pakistan newsLAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday said the local government elections would be held next year and asked leaders and workers of the People’s Party to prepare for the polls, according to sources who attended a meeting of the PPP’s Punjab parliamentary party at the Governor’s House.

In another significant move, the sources said, Mr Gilani announced a grant of Rs20 million each for all PPP members of the Punjab Assembly in the wake of complaints that the provincial government had been invariably ignoring them in allocation of funds.

Several PPP legislators also complained to the prime minister that the PML-N government could-shouldered them in matters like appointment of chairmen of market and zakat committees.

Mr Gilani assured them that the matter would be taken up with the PML-N leadership.

He said the PPP would be reorganised and its new president for Punjab would be appointed soon. Changes would also be made at lower levels to make the party more efficient, he added.

Mr Gilani said the PPP was strictly following the Charter of Democracy signed between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, adding the party would continue its “policy of reconciliation” towards other political parties, including the PML-N.

He said the party had put an end to the politics of victimisation which was evident from the fact that there was not a single political prisoner in the country at the moment.

The prime minister said the government would complete its constitutional term and expressed the confidence that the PPP would win the next general election.

He said those conspiring for a confrontation between institutions had failed in their design.

He said the government was facing problems in the rehabilitation of the flood-hit people, but added that the PPP with the help of its coalition partners would overcome all such difficulties.

Earlier, fateha was offered for Ms Bhutto. The prime minister paid tribute to the late leader and said she had made transition to democracy possible by forcing Gen Musharraf to announce the general election in 2008 and give up his uniform. He said the late leader had signed the Charter of Democracy and now it was the responsibility of every PPP worker to implement it. The PPP had implemented 80 per cent of the Charter and 70 per cent of its manifesto.

The PPP, he said, played a major role in bringing about political stability and harmony in the country while braving all challenges.

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