HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Tuesday that his party wanted a strong local government system but admitted that differences persisted on certain issues with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
Speaking at a press conference in Dadu after visiting the flood-affected areas, Bilawal, also the foreign minister of Pakistan, said that despite the differences, the PPP and the MQM-P were in consonance over some other issues related to the local bodies.
“The two parties [PPP and MQM-P] have different approaches over certain issues yet they are in consonance over some other issues as well,” the PPP chairman told reporters. However, he stressed that that the PPP also wanted a strong local government system.
Bilawal recalled that the first phase of the local elections was held in most parts of Sindh prior to the monsoon rains. “If those elected representatives had taken oath of offices, they could have helped the government immensely in dealing with the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the flood-affected people.
Speaking about the international conference in Geneva, Bilawal said that a road show for collection of funds for the post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction would be launched on January 9. He added that the government would also try to attract foreign investment in green energy projects.
The PPP chief said that the foreign investors would be offered public-private partnership (PPP) projects. He said that green energy projects could ward off the threats of climate change and provide relief to the people affected by inflated electricity bills.
“Under the proposed PPP model, the government will provide free land to investors for setting up solar or wind energy plants and by doing so the government will also become a partner in those projects,” he said, adding that the local investors and commercial banks would also be invited to invest in the green projects.
“The January 9 launch of the road show will be the start of a long exercise of collecting funds from foreign governments, private sectors and multi-lateral donors. It will continue till the COP 28 climate conference in the UAE later this year,” Bilawal told the press conference.
Meanwhile, writing on his Twitter handle, the foreign minister said that the government would unveil plans for rebuilding a ‘climate-resilient Pakistan’ at the Geneva conference. He appealed to the international community to continue to assist the flood-affected people of Pakistan.
The minister also shared a short video of his visit to the Dadu district. Bilawal said that he visited Khairpur Nathan Shah and added that five months had passed since a monstrous monsoon triggered floods, but many areas were still inundated by the floodwater.
During the international conference, he said they would bring forth proposals for the reconstruction and rehabilitation. He appealed to the international community to continue to assist the flood-affected people of Pakistan.
The scale of the devastation was massive and surely a climate catastrophe of their times, Bilawal said, adding that they were looking forward to working with the international community to take the people of Pakistan out of this distressing situation.
(WITH INPUT FROM APP)