ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is optimistic to grab top slots of Senate (Chairman and Deputy Chairman) in the upcoming Senate polls with its numerical strength.

"PPP is optimistic to clinch top slots of upper house with its numerical strength and options are also open to give deputy chairman's position to MQM," said leader of opposition in the national assembly Syed  Khursheed Shah while talking to media here on Tuesday.

About Imran Khan, he said the PTI's chief with his lawmakers will have to rejoin National Assembly to participate in its proceedings. "If he terms National Assembly as a fake, then he should keep in mind that Senate is also part of the parliament," he said terming the participation of PTI in Senate polls a good sign.

To a question, he also lauded Imran for making telephone calls to Asif Ali Zardari and other main leaders to discuss Senate related issues. "In politics, doors should not be closed for discussion," he remarked.

About the 22nd amendment, he strongly opposed the idea of 'show of hands' and termed it a constitutional matter. "PPP is being criticized as we are avoiding to play on the pitch of PML-N government," he said adding that every political party has its own point of view.

ZARDARI ASSURES

SUPPORT TO FARMERS

Former President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday assured the farmers throughout the country that the PPP will stand by them and raise its voice for the promotion of agriculture and welfare of the farmers

PPP's Co-Chairman expressed grave concern over the continued neglect of the agriculture sector by the present government resulting in despondency among the farming community and steep decline of this critical sector of national economy.

Zardari said this in a statement after PPP President Punjab Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Party MPAs from Punjab called on him in Zardari House Islamabad.

Besides discussing the party's strategy in the forthcoming Senate elections in Punjab, the party leaders brought to the attention of Co-Chairman the plight of the farmers in the province.

Zardari said that that whenever the PPP government came into power the agriculture sector witnessed a healthy boom contributing to the national wealth as well as to increasing the purchasing power of the rural people and ushering in prosperity.

However, the present government had not only neglected the farming sector but also diverted precious resources to politically visible projects like Metro bus in Islamabad, more for drawing political mileage rather than serving the interests of largest number of people, he claimed.

Zardari said that it was wrong to assume that since agri products can be imported easily the farming sector can be placed on the backburner.  Issues in agriculture are fundamental in food security and no investment is too great to ensure food security of the burgeoning population of the country, he said.