ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Tuesday that President Asif Ali Zardari had removed Imran Khan from power with the power of Jiyalas. Imran was conspiring to attack the Constitution, trample the rights of provinces, undo the 18th Amendment, encroach the islands of Sindh and Balochistan and ruin the country economically, Bilawal said.
The PPP chairman said that in the country’s history, this selected prime minister was not removed by the army or the judiciary, but through a no-confidence motion. He (Imran Khan) is giving the credit to US President Biden instead of President Asif Ali Zardari and Jiyalas. “But he should know that it is not the White House but the Bilawal House who conspired to expel you. The Selected as well as its facilitators were seen off through a democratic move,” he added.
The chairman PPP said that the establishment’s decision to remain apolitical has “politically orphaned selected” Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and the likes of him. “This is the reason why there is a hue and cry in Bani Gala, this is the reason why they have resorted to politics of violence, and this is the reason why he [Imran] hides and addresses workers via video link,” Bilawal said while addressing a gathering in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh held to mark the 15th death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Bilawal, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said the PTI will keep pushing, inciting and seeking the establishment’s help, but vowed that his party would ensure that no unconstitutional move was taken.
“Imran, in his rallies, has been using words that are tantamount to Article 6 [treason] and inciting the establishment to help him,” the foreign minister said, asking the PTI chief to return to parliament as neither he nor his party could bear what’s coming to them.
The foreign minister went on to say that he did not want his political opponents to endure what his party workers had to go through. “But we also have to run the system, this cannot go on.”
In his address, the foreign minister also linked the uptick in terrorism to Imran’s election as the prime minister and slammed the PTI chief for trying to reason with terrorists during his tenure. “Benazir Bhutto lost her life fighting terrorism. We also initiated operations against terrorists, but who gave this cricketer [Imran] permission to negotiate with terrorists?” he asked. “Who freed terrorists from jails? Who allowed terrorists to live here and neither accept the Constitution nor lay down their weapons?”
The PPP leader added: “Today, terrorism is rising once again as a cricketer was turned into a prime minister.” The coalition government, he said, would use all-out measures to break the back of terrorists.
Bilawal said that during the PTI’s tenure, Pakistan suffered the worst economic crisis and to save his seat, “Imran committed a suicide attack on the economy”.
Describing selected politicians as a story of the past, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pledged struggle for a Pakistan free from all ills. He said the future belongs to the people adding that together we have a lot of work to do during the next 15 years. “We have to bury lies, corruption and the politics of selected forever and ensure that institutions are confined to their limits.”
He said Benazir was a leader not only of Pakistan but of the world. She wanted a Pakistan for all. She believed in the politics of solidarity not hatred and unity, not division. Some elements thought that the killing of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto will stop her journey of struggle, but even after 15 years of this tragedy, there is an ocean of masses here.
“We have always used the democratic weapon to fight Musharraf and his puppets. President Zardari removed Musharraf like a fly from milk and today we proudly say that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto is still there while Musharraf has gone into the dustbin of history.”
Pakistan’s youngest foreign minister said that due to the failures, ineptitude and incompetence of the selected, Pakistan was becoming isolated in the world, and was associated with extremists and terrorism. He said that the saddest situation was that we were not even able to defend Kashmir. He questioned who gave the permission to the selected to negotiate with these terrorists. He said that without the permission of the families of the martyrs, the people and parliament, who had given the permission to negotiate with the terrorists? Who was the one who took out the terrorists from the jails?
The PPP chairman said that the remnants of the selected and Musharraf are now a story of the past, the future belongs not to them but to the Jiyalas and the people. We have brought the country out of crises in the past, now only the PPP can bring Pakistan out of difficulties.
He said that if the prestige of Pakistan is to be raised in the world then only PPP has done this work in the past and is still doing this work today. He said that the PPP will eliminate terrorism in the future. We will definitely defeat the terrorists, but we need to account for how this was allowed to happen, how we are repeating this sin once again, the public should account for why terrorism is rising again, he added.
Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari emphasized that his opponents should first become human beings, then become politicians. Because Pakistan will survive, then they can fight for the prime minister’s chair.
Addressing the workers, the PPP chairman said that apart from expelling the selected prime minister, it is also his great success that the country’s army chief stood up in uniform and gave a speech and believed that there used to be interference and decided that we will not interfere in politics. He said that the promise made to the country and the nation that the institutions will be non-political and bound by the Constitution, then we have to ensure that this promise will be fulfilled and no one can stop the development of Pakistan, if the establishment also moves forward with the same determination.
The foreign minister said that Imran Khan is hiding in Bani Gala, but will continue his conspiracies and will try to push the army into politics. He said that Article 6 is being blatantly violated, because establishment is being asked to break the Constitution, grab Imran’s finger and change his nappy. He further said that Imran Khan’s attempt is to mislead the establishment, to put pressure and to create such an environment but PPP is ready to fight any conspiracy.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned Imran Khan that this is the last warning for him to return to the parliament and sit on his chair. If he calls himself a politician and a democrat, he has to sit in parliament and do his job. “First come to the parliament, then the political parties will talk to you, we do not talk to strangers, come and contribute to the reforms for clean and transparent elections.”
Referring to the recent flood devastation, the PPP chairman said that it was the worst tragedy. The floods caused $30 billion in damage, 10 percent of GDP was lost in the floodwaters, and more than 30 million flood victims, including 16 million children and 6 million pregnant women, are still waiting for aid. The infrastructure of 50% educational institutions in Sindh has been affected. He said that it was a spectacle that on one side one-third of the country is under water and on the other side there was a fight for the Takht-e-Lahore, drama and a long march was going on the GT Road.
The foreign minister said that the World Bank has decided to give a loan of 2 billion dollars for the rehabilitation of Sindh, which is the result of timely efforts and hard work of the Chief Minister of Sindh during the floods. He further said that he has also discussed with the chief minister of Sindh that land reforms will be introduced in the province. Interest-free loans will be provided to the flood victims for construction of houses, while the slum victims will be given home ownership rights.
Sanam Bhutto, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and senior leadership of the party from all the four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan were also present on the stage.
Besides Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Rozi Khan and other senior leaders of PPP addressed the public meeting outside of the mazar of Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bux Bhutto to pay homage. They reiterated their pledge to carry forward the mission for which Benazir Bhutto laid down her life.
Earlier, a large number of people from different walks of life paid rich tributes to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on her 15th martyrdom anniversary observed here on Tuesday. The day began with Quran Khawani at her mausoleum here, where a large number of people, including workers and office-bearers of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), were present to pay their respect to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Men, women and children carried the flags of PPP and chanted slogans.
The venue of the public meeting had been decorated with banners and flags of the PPP. As many as 50 welcome camps had been set up, besides 80 walk-through gates and other security measures taken at the entry points.
Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Federal Minister Shazia Atta Marri, President PPP Punjab Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Naveed Qamar, Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Syeda Nafisa Shah, Farhatullah Babar, President PPP Sindh Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, senators, provincial ministers also visited the graves of Benazir Bhutto, founder chairman of PPP Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and others.
Besides, senators, MNAs, MPAs belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and Federal Council of PPPP also visited the mazars, offered fateha and placed floral wreaths. They also visited the graves of Begum Nusrat Bhutto, Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Mir Shahnawaz Bhutto and offered fateha.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday paid tributes to politician Benazir Bhutto on her death anniversary, saying that she was a “crusader for human rights and democracy”.
Shehbaz Sharif said Benazir Bhutto left an indelible mark on politics of the country, adding that the void left by her martyrdom continues to widen over the years. He said the black day of 27 December 2007 is an unforgettable day relating to the martyrdom of a beloved leader of the people.
“Benazir Bhutto is a shining example of democratic and political struggle who sacrificed her life while fighting for the rights of people,” he said.
He mentioned that as the first woman prime minister of the Islamic world, Benazir Bhutto was a fascinating story of continuous struggle throughout her life. “We pay tribute to the historical services of Benazir Bhutto for the country, people and democracy,” he said.
He recalled that Pakistan Muslim League leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Partys Benazir Bhutto gave the historical gift of the Charter of Democracy that started a new era in the country’s politics. He termed the Charter of Democracy a landmark achievement of the political vision of the country’s leaders which ushered in a new political culture and tradition in Pakistan.
Shehbaz Sharif said Benazir Bhutto took a bold and clear stand against terrorism and added that her martyrdom showed the country’s determination against the menace. He said Benazir Bhutto also rendered immense services for the strengthening of national defence, constitutional institutions and for social welfare.
The prime minister extended condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto including his husband Asif Ali Zardari, son Bilawal Bhutto and all other relatives.
Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Sherry Rehman, on Tuesday said the life and political struggle of martyred Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for the sake of people, Constitution, parliament and the country was matchless like her name. In a series of tweets, the federal minister paid homage on the 15th martyrdom anniversary of the former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson.
Senator Rehman said, “I salute the martyred Benazir Bhutto on her 15th martyrdom anniversary. The killing of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was the killing of humanity. Today, we were deprived off our leader and the country from its future. She was a hope for the people of Pakistan, the murderers took away their hope from the people,” she said.
The minister, while eulogizing the martyred leader, said Shaheed Benazir was the chain of all the provinces, the killers tried to disintegrate the country by killing her. Asif Ali Zardari foiled this conspiracy by raising the slogan of Pakistan Khape (We want Pakistan). Benazir endured detention, imprisonment, exile and other hardships. “Our leader and the first woman prime minister of the Muslim world was brutally murdered in broad daylight. His family, Peoples Party and workers are waiting for justice in the murder case of their leader even after 15 years.”
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, while paying tribute to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her martyrdom, said Benazir Bhutto was unique like her name. She said this in a statement issued here Tuesday. Benazir Bhutto is a bright example of bravery, sagacity and struggle in politics and she continued to fight for unity, struggle and prosperity of Pakistan like a chain of Federation.
She was a source of inspiration for women political workers who always stood against dictatorship she held. “Her struggle for Constitution, parliament, democracy, people’s rights and social betterment will be remembered forever.
“Her shahadat was a colossal loss to Pakistan and the nation will never forget it,” Aurangzeb added.
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