FATEHJANG - Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf Saturday said that insightful PPP leadership guided the coalition government through its 5-year term and averting all challenges, it was going to complete its tenure.

Addressing a public meeting in Fatehjang, the prime minister said that a democratically elected government had never completed its constitutional term in the country but due to the prudent leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari, the coalition had made the distance.

Speaking in Potohari, the PM said the ballot brought the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) into power and it would return to power with people's support in next elections.

He said that the PPP had its roots in the masses because of its leaders' commitment to live and die for people.

The PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto ensured right of franchise for the common man and empowered labourers, workers and farmers, he added. “He also made the country a nuclear power and strengthened its defence.”

He said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto launched several mega projects like Pakistan Steel Mills, PAF Kamra Complex and POF expansion, besides laying the foundation of the HMC. “The great leader also brought back 90,000 prisoners of war and recovered occupied land from India.”

The prime minister said: “Zia ul Haq once said that if Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto seeks apology, he will forgive him. But Bhutto refused to bow before a dictator, saying that he was the leader of the masses.” He said that those who love masses, do not afraid of anything but those who quit, cannot be the leaders of masses.

The PM said that he had brought a message of goodwill from President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to the people of Fateh Jang.

He said that the people of the area had always supported the PPP and the party was also proud of their consistent support and dedication.

Appreciating the support of the locals to the PPP, the premier said that the people of Attock were very brave and they always extended full support to the party. He said that he hailed from the Potohar region and he had very strong affiliation with the people of this area. The people always gave him respect and honour, whenever he visited the area, he said, adding that he was a proud political worker from this area.

The vision to take care of the workers was of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, he added.

Referring to his previous visit to the area, the premier said he was not among those fair weather friends, who never visited their constituents after winning election, disconnecting al links with the masses. The opportunists do not survive and only devoted politicians will continue to serve the people, he added.

He said that former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, who won election from there, did not know any worker of the area. After the end of his government, he went abroad and never came back, he added. “On the other hand, the PPP parliamentarians always remained committed to the masses.”

He said that Shaukat Aziz was not a democratic man rather he was a representative of a dictator. Referring to the TV talk shows, the prime minister said that the participants, who always criticised the government, had no links with the common man. Some of the leaders are also just doing drawing-room politics, he added.

Meanwhile, life got paralysed in Fatehjang in the name of security at the visit of the prime minister. The security personnel ordered the closure of all the markets, hotels and hospitals in the city. Roads leading to Kohat and Pindi, and Attock remained closed.

Some three thousand security personnel were deployed in the city and the two kilometre radius of the venue were cordoned off. A day earlier, the security agencies made announcements that all shopkeepers, hotel owners and hospitals would suspend their services due to the visit of the prime minister.

People from every walk of life said that extra security arrangements were beyond understanding and seemed irrational.

They said that democratic leaders should not be scared as staying away from people was undemocratic. The locals questioned: “If it is democracy, what is dictatorship.”

The virtual curfew in the city troubled thousands of people.