Saturday April 20, 2024

‘Unfulfilled promises’: PPP threatens to oppose federal budget

Bilawal says PPP won’t vote for the budget without the allocation of funds for flood victims

By Essa Khankhel & mahboob ali yousafzai & News Desk
June 18, 2023
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a public gathering here on Saturday. —NNI
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing a public gathering here on Saturday. —NNI

MINGORA/ISLAMABAD: Urging workers to start preparing for elections, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday threatened to oppose the federal budget if the promised funds for the flood-hit areas of Sindh were not released.

“I don’t have any doubt in the sincerity of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif but some people in the cabinet are reluctant to release the required funds for flood-hit people. We will not support the budget if our grievances are not addressed,” the foreign minister told a public gathering at Khwazakhela where former PTI MNA Dr Haider Ali announced to join the party.

“If Muslim League wants PPP to vote for this budget, then it’s not possible without allocating funds for flood reconstruction,” the PPP chief cautioned. He said the PPP was geared up for the elections and ready to make history just as it did in the LG elections.

“We encourage our allies to prepare themselves and contest the elections, so that the next government finds solutions to problems faced by the people,” he said, adding, as far as the budget was concerned, the PPP sent its high-level committee members to the PM and his team, complaining that the budget contained little of PPP’s input.

“We have approached our allies to make them understand that it is imperative that we look after the flood victims in our budget. We have no doubts over the intentions of the PM, as he witnessed the destruction with his own eyes. However, we would like to ask the PM to take up the matter with his team and hold those hindering this process accountable. We hope that the finance minister, Ishaq Dar and his team will address our concerns and work towards resolving them,” he said.

The PPP chairman urged the party workers to initiate the process for electoral campaigning as the party was ready to avail the opportunity to work towards the realisation of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s dream.

Bilawal Bhutto said that it was a matter of great pride that he was standing in the valley of Swat and raising the slogan of Jeay Bhutto, especially with Dr Haider Ali joining the Pakistan Peoples Party. The PTI did not work for the development and uplift of Swat and its people.

He said the people of Swat were witness to the fact as to how the PPP fought for them and when terror was imposed on the land. It was the PPP that strived to bring peace to the region, he said.

The foreign minister said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto embraced martyrdom for the sake of country. The PPP made the decision to wipe out all those who wanted to spread bloodshed in the Swat Valley.

“The sacrifices rendered by the people, police and security forces led to peace in the region. However, Imran Khan brought back the very same terrorists whom we had chased out,” he said.

“The people of Swat deserve praise for taking to the streets to demand restoration of peace and stability in their region. Today, we would like to reiterate the PPP is standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Swat and will do whatever is possible to help the region progress. We are willing to work with Afghanistan on a bilateral level to bring economic prosperity in the region by realising the importance of peace and security,” the foreign minister said. “We need to extend the message of peace to terrorists to convince them to drop their weapons. We do not wish to hold another operation or initiate another war. The people have had enough of war and they now deserve peace. However, we are not willing to bow before any terrorists for the sake of peace.

“We know the PPP and people of Swat share the same sentiments as neither have surrendered before terrorism. We also need to put a stop to the newly introduced political terrorism. Each and every citizen of Pakistan condemns the tragedy of May 9. All stakeholders as well as political parties share the same views on this. We have to make an example out of the culprits, if they are forgiven once, then there would be no rule of law, government or democracy in the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Talal Chaudhry said that the no-confidence motion (against Imran Khan government) was brought on the wishes of Peoples Party, adding the PMLN and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) wanted fresh elections.

Talking on Geo News show Naya Pakistan hosted by Shahzad Iqbal, Talal said that they welcome general elections in the country but the polls should not be held like they were conducted in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and for Karachi mayoral post. Elections should be held in a way that no one points a finger at them, adding that people were expressing concerns about the election for Karachi mayor’s slot.

He said the PMLN was not the only party in the government, adding that everything happens after consultations (among coalition partners). He said that whatever was happening, all the ruling parties’ consent was behind it.

The PMLN leader said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar alone does not take any decision, rather he briefs the federal cabinet about everything.