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Wednesday April 24, 2024

Nawaz seeking 4th time in office via backdoor: Bilawal

“He's certainly giving impression that he is relying on something other than people of Pakistan,” says PPP chief

By Web Desk
January 24, 2024

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman and former foreign minister, has cast aspersions over PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s bid to become the country’s premier fourth time, saying he is seeking to return to power via backdoor.

"He's certainly giving the impression that he is relying on something other than the people of Pakistan to become prime minister for the fourth time," Bilawal told UK-based Reuters news agency when asked if he thought the establishment backed the PML-N founder.

Since Nawaz’s return to Pakistan in October last year, the PPP and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have alleged that the former three-time premier was being given preferential treatment while other political parties were being denied level-playing field ahead of the February 8 polls.

A day earlier, Bilawal said Nawaz would harm the country via his "habitual revenge politics" if he came to power once again.

"Mian sahib is habitual of [taking] revenge. He would take revenge which no one can think of if he becomes the [country's] prime minister for the fourth time," he had said while addressing a political gathering in Chiniot, Punjab.

Bilawal also recently called on supporters of the PTI founder to vote for him while their leader is in jail.

Speaking to Reuters, Bilawal also ruled out forging an alliance with PML-N or PTI, saying he preferred to form a government with independent candidates.

"You know, lots of independent politicians, probably the highest (number) in our history, are taking part in the coming elections," he added.

Questions of transparency will hover over the 2024 elections, just as with earlier ones, he added, but he and his party hoped to win against expectations.

A majority of the candidates belong to PTI as the party was stripped of its bat electoral symbol after the Supreme Court upheld the ECP’s decision to declare the party’s intra-party polls as “unconstitutional”.

Bilawal also called for new ideas and leadership to calm political and economic instability.

"The implications of the decisions taken today are going to be faced by the youth of Pakistan," Bilawal said.

"I think it would be better if they were allowed to make those decisions."

Amid sky-high inflation and rising energy tariffs, Bilawal asserted that he has a concrete plan to provide free electricity and boost social safety programmes, despite fiscal constraints.

"What we propose is to completely restructure Pakistan's development model, putting the threat of climate change front and centre," he said, in a reflection of his party's election manifesto.