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PPP wants to serve Balochistan: Asif Zardari

08 April, 2017

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JAFFARABAD: PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday criticised the separatist elements in the province, saying the people of the province should engage with their 'misguided' counterparts and help them see how they were hurting their own interests.

"Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. Why do you let yourself get exploited like this?" he asked while addressing a rally in Jaffarabad.

"The entire world is accessible on a chip. It is all on the internet. Just click a button and see what conditions Muslims are living in India," the former president said. "Do we want to live like that? Do we want to be punished by death for consuming beef? Do we want to also quit eating eggs?" Zardari asked.

"I am only trying to explain to you what their [India's] narrow-mindedness is like," the veteran politician added, seemingly in an attempt to dissuade separatists from their alleged complicity in an 'Indian conspiracy' to sow unrest in the province.

Zardari said the PPP wants to serve Balochistan, saying that the province is rich in minerals and resources, including granite, metals and methane gas. "You have one of the most fertile lands in Pakistan. The only thing needed [to reap its benefits] is the right use of water," he added.

"My government will help you use modern techniques to capitalise on the water resources you have," the former president said, adding he wants to introduce the drip irrigation system in the province. He claimed that with the drip irrigation system, the amount of water supplied to rice field, spread on an acre of land, would consume 300 gallons instead of 10,000 gallons.

"But my friends ask me: where will I get this water from? I tell them, I will get the water from Central Asia," Zardari said, adding that Pakistan has other ways of accessing water if India does act on cutting the country's water supply. "We have found ways to get us the water and Balochistan will be the lead beneficiary of that water," the PPP leader added.

"Balochistan is [valuable like] gold. Your country is [valuable like] gold," Zardari said, adding that negligent and corrupt politics are to blame for the wastage of the province's riches.

The former president is currently travelling to campaign in different parts of the country in an effort to strengthen the party ahead of the upcoming polls. Zardari has directed PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as well as other party leadership to expedite their efforts to woo disgruntled PML-N and Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf leaders, and has asked them to bring back into party folds the angry workers and leaders in the province.

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