HYDERABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday said the federal government wanted to take over Karachi and a minister presented a plan to usurp the metropolis city. He said illegal possession on the resources of Sindh government will be unacceptable.
“This country has already been broken in the past when Islamabad had tried to control the state. It’s not like those people who were less patriotic than you or me [...] If PPP and other likeminded parties don’t stand up tomorrow, separate Sindhi, Seraiki, Pashtun states might be formed,” he warned. He said that after Bangladesh, Sindhudesh, Seraikidesh and Pukhtundesh can be formed.
Addressing a press conference at the Hyderabad Press Club along with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Bilawal Bhutto said running a country is not like playing cricket match. He said the government is playing with the Constitution but they will save the country with their blood.
The PPP chairman further said government policies are killing farmers, businessmen and ordinary citizens. He said Pakistan dismembered in the past due to such policies.
He said PM Imran Khan has made people politicalprisoners and it is unacceptable that affairs of Karachi are being run from Islamabad. He said democracy that was progressing is being pushed towards dictatorship. He said the attacks of the puppet government will not be tolerated.
Bilawal said basic rights of people are being snatched adding that Sindh provides gas to the entire country. He said undemocratic forces are attacking the Sindh government.
Bilawal Bhutto lashed out at the federal government for trying to “occupy Karachi” following Law Minister Farogh Naseem’s statement that the Centre was considering taking over the administrative affairs of the metropolis through a little known constitutional provision.
On Wednesday, Naseem told a private TV channel that a strategic committee on Karachi was going to recommend to Prime Minister Imran Khan that he should invoke Article 149 for the uplift of Karachi.
After getting approval of the cabinet, the provision will be exercised. In case of any resistance shown by the provincial government, they will approach the Supreme Court under Article 184(1) of the Constitution to seek a directive in this regard. If the province still shows reluctance, they will file a contempt petition in the SC, he said.
The minister had told news channels that it was his personal view that the Centre should take over Karachi’s affairs. Any decision was likely to be taken by the premier during his visit to the metropolis on September 14, he added.
“You try to build a narrative against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he unconstitutionally captured occupied Kashmir and at the same time you try to occupy Karachi. This is bizzare,” Bilawal said. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan who has vowed to protect human rights in [occupied] Kashmir has ripped apart democratic rights of the people of Pakistan. You want to run Karachi from Islamabad,” he asked
Bilawal said the PPP, which is the ruling party in Sindh, will never accept any conspiracy against the province. According to the Constitution, the province that produces a resource is entitled to utilise it before providing it to the rest of the country, the PPP chief said referring to Sindh government’s longstanding complaint that the province despite producing natural gas was not receiving its due share.
The federal government is trying to provide gas produced in Sindh to the rest of the country and wants the province’s residents to use expensive LNG gas imported from Qatar, Bilawal alleged. “If the federal government continues to weaken democratic powers in the country, oppresses its people, steals their human rights and on top of that tries to occupy their land and city, do you think that your country will survive,” Bilawal said.
The PPP chief said the provinces were going bankrupt because of the Centre’s incompetence. He said his grandfather had brought in an economic revolution in the country.
The PPP will remain a wall in front of undemocratic forces and will not shy away from sacrifices to save the Centre, he said. He said the federal government must come into senses and take care of the people. There is a limit to injustice, said Bilawal. “The Centre should take its designs on Karachi and go home,” he said adding that the MQM should resign from office. The PPP will uncover these people and won’t let the government operate, he warned.
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