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March 12, 2019

Bilawal meets Nawaz at Kot Lakhpat Jail

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March 12, 2019

LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday agreed on a new Charter of Democracy (CoD) to give tough time to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf both inside and outside Parliament.

Bilawal met Nawaz at the Kot Lakhpat Jail where he inquired after him and offered him the best medical treatment in any hospital of Sindh in view of his deteriorating health. The two leaders also agreed that they would continue their struggle against the PTI government both in and outside parliament in accordance with an effective CoD.

The country’s current political situation came under discussion during the meeting. The PPP delegation also included Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly Syed Hassan Murtaza, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Jameel Soomro.

A large number of PPP workers from Lahore also gathered outside the jail to receive the party chairman and chanted slogans of ‘Jeay Bhutto’ when Bilawal’s vehicle reached the jail gate.

Nawaz thanked Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari for the bouquet and their goodwill gesture. He also paid regards to both Bakhtawar and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, sisters of the PPP chairman.

Sources said Nawaz expressed total disappointment with the behaviour of the Punjab government and complained that he was being humiliated in the name of treatment, which was not acceptable to him.

Both the leaders agreed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was victimising the PTI government’s political opponents, and discussed options to move ahead together to deal with the incumbent government.

Nawaz Sharif also discussed the 2006 CoD signed with slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and emphasised the need for making the document more effective. The PPP leadership agreed that it was vital to implement the CoD and both sides should struggle together.

Later, talking to the media, Bilawal said both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had signed the CoD, adding that it was time to review the document again. He said the situation demanded that dialogue should be held with all the political parties except the PTI to sign a new consensus but effective CoD.

Terming the day historic, Bilawal said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari had also spent time at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. He said it was sad to see that three-time prime minister of the country was spending time in jail. He said political differences existed everywhere, but being Muslim it was their duty to inquire after the ailing people.

Bilawal told reporters that the former PM was not looking well, adding that a heart patient could not bear stress and it was a kind of torture that he was undergoing. Demanding proper medical care for Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal said whether it was related to a common prisoner or the former prime minister, the government had no right to humiliate anyone.

He said his father and grandfather had faced imprisonment at the Kot Lakhpat but he never wished Imran Khan to be here. Criticising the PTI government, Bilawal said the region was facing the threat of a war and if the rulers wanted an atmosphere of peace in the country, then they should avoid meting out such treatment to their opponents.

He said an atmosphere of unity was created in the country which was spoiled after the speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan. To a question, Bilawal said he would be glad to meet Maryam Nawaz Sharif, adding that he believed she was not silent but busy at the moment as her father was undergoing treatment.

He also came down hard on Finance Minister Asad Umar and said he had no idea why Asad objected to his speech in English, as Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also delivered his speech in English.

He said the ‘ignorant’ finance minister was in a state of shock to see that why he (Bilawal) used the word Bhutto with him. The PPP chairman said like Prime Minister Imran Khan, he never issued any notification to bar people from using the name of his father with him.

Meanwhile, Maryam Nawaz, through a tweet, thanked Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for calling on Nawaz at the Kot Lakhpat jail. “Thanks for your thoughtfulness and kind gesture. Means a lot to me. Prayers and very good wish. God bless you,” said the tweet.

Agencies add: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Monday he got no impression that a deal had been made for the incarcerated former premier to leave the country. To a question, he said: "Mian Sahib said he is an ideologist and wants to do ideological politics," he added. "My father spent 11 and a half years in jail and each time it was said that a deal has been struck with former president Pervez Musharraf," Bilawal continued.

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