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LAHORE: General Secretary of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party Central Punjab, Syed Hassan Murtaza, emphasized the need for all political parties to come together and establish a consensus on election reforms after the Senate elections.

He conveyed this stance during a media briefing after the Punjab Executive Committee meeting held through Zoom and was chaired by PPP Central Punjab president Raja Pervez Ashraf. PPP leaders Usman Saleem Malik, Mian Ayub, Ahsan Rizvi, and Rana Irfan were present on the occasion.

Murtaza underscored that electoral reforms are imperative, as after every election, whether it be in 2013, 2018, or the recent 2024 elections, every party alleges electoral irregularities. He advocated for an end to the practice of favoritism in appointments every decade. Expressing his personal belief, Murtaza proposed the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission to prevent external interference in future political processes.

During the media briefing on the Punjab Executive Committee meeting, Hassan Murtaza highlighted various topics discussed, including concerns over the worsening economic conditions and the rise in terrorist activities in the country. The PPP voiced concerns over targeted attacks on party leaders and workers, condemning extremism and terrorism, while expressing hope that the government would provide relief.

Murtaza revealed that President Asif Ali Zardari would negotiate with the government regarding relief measures on electricity bills.

The PPP also stressed relief for farmers and the agricultural sector, commending Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz for the Kisan Card initiative, which aligns with the vision of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Murtaza suggested that Maryam Nawaz should also consider initiatives such as student and youth cards, along with increasing the amount allocated to the Benazir Income Support Program, in line with their manifesto.

Additionally, Murtaza announced plans for the construction of a new stadium in Punjab, to be named after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed. He mentioned the formation of a Fact-Finding Committee to investigate the reasons behind the defeat of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in NA 127 Lahore.

Responding to queries, Murtaza disclosed ongoing consultations regarding the appointment of governors in KP and Punjab. He also mentioned negotiations with the PML-N for electing Faiza Malik as Senator on a women’s reserved seat.

Hassan Murtaza extended congratulations to Aseefa Bhutto Zardari for her unopposed election to a National Assembly seat and to Asif Ali Zardari for his re-election as President of Pakistan. He also conveyed greetings to the Christian community on Easter.

Furthermore, Murtaza announced the party’s intention to issue a White Paper on the 2024 elections, noting an increase in the party’s vote bank. He added that a public gathering on the Shaheed Bhutto death anniversary would be held on April 14th instead of April 4th due to Ramadan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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