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January 17, 2021

Shibli Faraz asks Bilawal to stop threatening ECP

Top Story

January 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Saturday said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari must not lay the rubble of his incompetence on others and stop threatening the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

“You are so ignorant that you don't know that your own province produces 2,025 million cubic feet of gas. It uses 1,784 million cubic feet, while providing 200 million cubic feet to power and fertilisers plants. One hundred and ten million cubic feet goes out of Sindh,” he pointed out.

The minister noted that those, who often talked about the rights of the poor and workers, did not spare even the pensioners.

He claimed that a fraud of Rs2.25 billion in the Finance Department under Sindh chief minister came to light in the Pensioners Fund while fake pensioners and fake accounts were created.

“95 percent of the fake bank accounts go to your chief minister's home district of Dadu. The nation did not forget when you created a shortage of wheat by not releasing wheat and sold expensive flour to the people of Sindh,” he alleged.

The minister alleged that the huts of the poor were demolished to fill the Swiss accounts and build Surrey Palace.

He emphasised that instead of threatening the Election Commission, Bilawal Bhutto should respond with reference to his party's foreign funding. Shibli contended that the development on Bundle Island would be a gift from the Federation to the people of Sindh.

“When politics is based on inheritance rather than merit, this is what happens to the PDM. The PDM movement has died. The movement for the defence of personal interests has been confined to the squares, main highways, alleys and narrow and dark intersections,” Shibli Faraz said.

“Bilawal, your politics is based on lies, deception and corruption,” he charged.

Azeem Samar/News Desk add: Bhutto Zardari said the ECP should tell which party was funded by the Indian and Israeli citizens.

He said that the controversies and cases the PTI is embroiled are there for everyone to see. “Transparency International says Pakistan’s most corrupt government is the PTI government,” he claimed while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

The PPP chairman said that during the PTI time, the Billion Tree Tsunami scandal, the BRT project scandal and the foreign funding case all surfaced. “There are very serious allegations that the PTI is a foreign-funded party. Their own member has raised allegations. But unfortunately, whether it is the court or the Election Commission, the truth has not been put forth before the people,” he said.

“This is why the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) will protest on January 19 outside the Election Commission and will demand that the case be taken to its conclusion and all the facts of the case be made public,” Bilawal said. He said the people must be told which people from which countries gave so much money to the PTI. “If a citizen from India or from Israel funds a Pakistani party there must be a reason behind it,” he said.

Bilawal said it must be probed “why this money was given to the PTI and since it came into power did they facilitate these people in any way or not”.

The PPP chairman said he hopes after the protest, “we won’t be disappointed like in the past”.

Bilawal criticised the delay in the procurement of a vaccine by the government, saying that all the gains made during the fight against coronavirus in the earlier months of the outbreak will be lost at this rate. “The only solution to come out of this difficult situation is the vaccine,” he stressed.

“Where due to your sacrifices and lockdown, Pakistan was ahead, it will now fall behind,” the PPP chairman warned. He said Pakistan has made no arrangements for import of the vaccine, whereas India, Bangladesh and Western countries are moving very quickly to secure the vaccine.

“The Sindh government was expecting to roll out the vaccine in January. We were told to be prepared by January so the vaccination can begin,” Bilawal said.

The PPP chairman said the Sindh government had prepared and readied all mechanisms, especially to ensure vaccination for frontline workers who are most vulnerable and the most important, but the vaccine never came.

“It seems we will have to wait for a long time,” he said.

Bilawal said this “unfair” approach by the government will lead to the private sector being given a preference. “The private sector will have full freedom. The private sector will be the first to arrange a vaccine and whoever has money will get vaccinated,” he said. Bilawal said what should have occurred was that the government should have first procured it for the frontline workers, “after which obviously the private sector can begin to as well”.

“But this will not happen now,” he said.

Bilawal said that whether its Pakistan’s economy or its health sector, “our government has failed and this is why the people are suffering”. “This is why we demand that they step down,” said the PPP chairman.

While referring to the presidential reference regarding the Senate elections, Bilawal said that the federal government had once again tried to make an institution controversial, and the court has no role in this matter.