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Monday April 15, 2024

Those dreaming of another stint as PM suffering from delusion: Bilawal

It was not a tiger PMLN electoral symbol but an arrow [PPP) that needed to be chosen by voters on February 8

By Our Correspondent
January 29, 2024
Pakistan People´s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R) waves to supporters at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on January 28, 2024. — AFP
Pakistan People´s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (R) waves to supporters at an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on January 28, 2024. — AFP 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari said on Sunday those dreaming of becoming the prime minister for the fourth time were suffering from delusion.

Addressing an election rally at Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi, he said if the country was to be saved from politics of hatred and division, it was not a tiger [PMLN electoral symbol] but an arrow [PPP) that needed to be chosen by voters on February 8. “The majority of people do not wish to see the person who is wishing to become the prime minister for the fourth time,” he claimed.

Bilawal said he was in the same city where Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were martyred. Without naming the PMLN, he said the same party that had violated the charter of democracy was now going against its own slogan of ‘Vote Ko Izzat Do’. “Society is plagued with the politics of hatred and division and PPP is the only party that aims to bury it forever,” he claimed.

He said Jiyalas needed to apprise people that “this is not the time to let our emotions get the best of us; we should not waste our votes”.

Bilawal said the PMLN workers should be told that their party was not protecting the sanctity of vote, rather it was destroying it. He said PTI workers need to be apprised of the PPP struggle it had been continuing for three generations. Bilawal said they need to realise that Imran Khan was not in elections, and he would not become the prime minister. “All office-bearers of their party are planted and not getting their election symbol was the doing of their own people,” he added.

He said PTI office-bearers were shedding crocodile’s tears and instead of wasting their votes on independent candidates, people should make a wise choice and opt for the arrow.

The PPP chairman said time has come for us to decide that there are no good or bad Taliban and we should combat terrorism in all forms.

Separately, former president and Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari said on Sunday although there was no perfect democracy in the country currently, it would gradually strengthen and all problems would be solved under a democratic government.

Addressing an election rally in Hub district of Balochistan, he said, “What can be done with democracy cannot be done through a war.” He reiterated that the PPP would give the people of Balochistan dignity and their due share in resources and stressed that only “genuine political parties” could solve the problems being faced by the country.

The former president said despite being a victim of grave injustices, the PPP never spoke of taking up arms. “We talked about fighting on the streets, holding rallies (and) fighting for democracy around the world, including Pakistan,” he added.

He said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto raised the flag of democracy and was elected as the prime minister twice. “I also followed in her footsteps, elected my prime minister and became the president myself,” he added.

He pointed out that during his tenure, Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan programme was introduced. “I gave Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan, apologised to Balochistan, took as many steps as I could. I got people released from jails and tried to convince people to be our friends and come back, considering Pakistan as their country,” he added.

Talking about the unanimous NFC Award introduced during his tenure, he said due to that initiative, the budget of Balochistan increased. “It has been 15 years since I gave the 18th Amendment. Your budget has been increased four times, but that budget (growth as a result of that budget) is not visible here.”

He reiterated that he would solve the problems of entire Balochistan including Hub. “We promise that we will take you forward and take care of you. Hub should also be like Karachi; Hub should also have hospitals, water facilities and universities.”

He said if the law and order improves, investors of Karachi would invest in Hub too. He appealed to the people of Balochistan, including Hub, to make the PPP victorious in the general election being held on February 8.

PPP leader and former Chief Minister Balochistan Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Ali Hassan Zehri, Sabir Baloch, Iqbal Shah, Wadera Hassan Jamot, Abdul Wahab Bizenjo, Abdul Karim Marri, Sharif Palari and other leaders were also present.