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May 2, 2019

PM should seek another apology from people, labourers, says Bilawal

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May 2, 2019

KARACHI: Chairman of Pakistan People's Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should seek another apology from the people of Pakistan for wasting their time through his governance in the last eight months while causing them economic sufferings and also from labourers of the country for doing their economic murder and subjecting them to unemployment, price-hike and poverty.

Addressing a public meeting of the Pakistan People's Party here in the Landhi area on Labour Day on Wednesday night, the PPP chairman sought another apology from the prime minister apparently in the backdrop of an apology sought by the PM earlier in the day in Islamabad while addressing the foundation day convention of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for calling Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Sahiba instead of Sahib in a previous address in a merged tribal district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The PPP chairman, while addressing the public meeting, vowed to hold the present government accountable for injustices and deprivation caused to the poor people and labourers in the country. “We will fight against your incompetency and will compel you to serve the masses,” he said on the occasion.

He said that PM Imran Khan had conceded his incompetency and complete failure in managing economy of the country by removing Asad Umer as being the first finance minister of his government.

He said that loans borrowed by the present government had been unprecedented in the history of the country as no previous government had taken such huge loans. The PPP chairman said that his party would not accept the deal the present government was about to sign with the International Monetary Fund till the time the same accord with the IMF was duly presented in the National Assembly for approval.

He said the present rulers belonging to the PTI had always blamed the previous regime of People's Party for securing massive foreign loans and also looting the national exchequer but at the end, the present government had hired the services of a person as finance adviser who had earlier served as finance minister during the tenure of former president Asif Ali Zardari.

“They have hired the services of finance minister of president Zardari but they haven’t adopted the people-friendly economic policies of People's Party,” he said. He said the present rulers believed that economy of the country would be benefited if rich got the opportunity to become richer. “Instead, the Peoples Party believes that if labourers, poor men, and farmers are given benefits then it will benefit the entire country as this money will circulate in the entire national economy and the country in turn will make progress,” said the PPP chairman.

The PPP chairman lamented that present government had introduced "an amnesty scheme for rich people" while poor masses in the country had been subjected to loans, taxes, and price-hike.

He said the present government had introduced anti-poor policies by increasing tax burden on them and also ending subsides being spent on destitute people. “Economic murder of poor people, unemployed youth, farmers, labourers, and small traders has been taking place in the country,” he said.

He lamented that the Federal Investigation Agency and National Accountability Bureau had been harassing businessmen and industrialists in Sindh and their families for investigating their Benami accounts so much so that businesses and mills of such traders were being shut down.

He said that mill owners of Sindh were being discriminated against and treated differently when investigation was launched against their benami accounts while industrialists in Punjab faced no such harassment, high-ended tactics, and closure of their industries when they faced probe under the same charges.

He said that businessmen and traders who didn’t come under the national tax net should not be treated and investigated in a manner as if they all were corrupt people. “If there are only two million registered taxpayers in the country out of the population of 200 million, it doesn’t mean that rest of 198 million masses in the country are all corrupt,” he said.

Bilawal Bhutto said that his party would continue to wage struggle and raise its voice against high-ended tactics of the NAB, which he termed the practice of NAB Gardi. “We will not be afraid of the NAB and instead we will continue to raise our voice against NAB Gardi,” he said.

He said that NAB had come into existence on the basis of a “Black Law” given during the regime of a previous dictator to do political victimisation and political engineering in the country.

He reiterated the stance of his party that the PPP was not against the accountability process in the country but accountability should be done across-the-board of all sections of the society under a uniform system without any discrimination, bias and on the basis of influence or status. “If there will be accountability in the country, then it will be of all the people and all the sections and if it is not the case, then there should be no accountability,” he said.

Bilawal Bhutto said that NAB was being used to deprive the people of Sindh of their due rights and resources in the country. “We will not keep silent and we will stop them as they are attempting to snatch your rights,” he said.

He also criticised the federal government for not paying Rs120 billion to the Sindh government as its due share in the federal divisible pool. “Imagine how much benefit could be passed on to you people, how many job opportunities could be created for youth of the province if we possess these Rs120 billion,” he said.

He also criticised the political parties in the Sindh Grand Democratic Alliance and Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which were allies of the present government. He said that allies of the present government had to be accountable for the massive price-hike, unemployment, rendering people shelter-less, for pilfering water, and gas resources of Sindh, carried out by the present regime.

He said the present government of PTI had promised to give one million jobs and build five million houses but it failed to create a single employment opportunity or build a single housing unit till now. “Instead, the present government has made the people homeless in the garb of anti-encroachment drive for which its allies including the MQM will also be held accountable,” he said.

The PPP chairman said that he belonged to Karachi and he would continue the struggle for the just rights of people of the city, including their water needs, which were being denied by the Centre.

Bilawal said that being a native of Karachi, he would continue to strive for the grave injustices done to people of the city as their mandate was stolen in the last general elections while they, along with other people of Karachi, had not been properly counted in the last national census drive. “The mandate of people of this city was stolen in the last polls and instead the mandate was given through a fake process,” he said.

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