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PPP leaders use official plane to attend Sindh rally
By Tariq Butt October 17, 2012
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ISLAMABAD: Four prominent Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders flew into Hyderabad from Islamabad by a special official plane to attend a pro-Sindh local law rally on Monday, it is reliably learnt.

They included former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Parliamentary Secretary Robina Qaimkhani apart from a team of publicists accompanied by their assisting paraphernalia.

The politicians were flown back into the federal capital by the Sindh chief minister’s plane late night while others used the same CASA aircraft to return, one of the passengers said.

Kaira was not available for comments.

A message was dropped with his personal staff to call back but no response came.

The CASA CN-235 plane used by the ruling party figures among one of the four such aircraft the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has in its fleet since 2004.

It is not known who footed the bill of the PAF — the federal government or the four politicians personally.

However, the last option is highly unlikely because members of every ruling government in Pakistan consider as their inherent right to use state resources for political purposes.

However, what is fairly clear is that none of four PPP personalities is allowed under the rules to use the official planes this way.

After his short-lived estrangement with the government mainly for being ignored, Gilani made his first appearance at the first PPP rally in Hyderabad and said what it wanted him to say — to harshly take on its political detractors.

Through his tirade, the former prime minister, who lost his coveted position after being convicted by the Supreme Court on contempt charge for not writing a letter to Switzerland as directed by it in its judgment against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), tried to revive his position in the PPP.

His annoyance was taken care of when he recently met President Asif Ali Zardari after his successor had a session with him at the Islamabad Club where he had started staying following vacating the presidency.

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