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Bilawal is just political novice: Ahsan Iqbal

Top Story

April 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was just political novice.

Talking to the media after appearing at an accountability court, Ahsan said Bilawal should not issue such statements that could politically harm his party, reported INP. “He will learn with the passage of time,” he added.

Criticising the ruling PTI, Ahsan referred to the prime minister statement in which he said he could not implement his vision amidst non-cooperation of the judiciary. “What kind of cooperation does he want? I demand the judiciary to telecast live our cases so that the nation knows about the reality of the cases. Imran Khan has nothing in his bag but random stories. The sovereignty of Pakistan is in severe danger because of government’s policies and decisions,” he maintained.

Today, international reports have clearly warned that Pakistan is close to an economic disaster, he added. “We had identified the outcome long before these international reports. Our sovereignty is at stake. Who is responsible for it?” asked Ahsan.

He accused Imran Khan of attacking the judiciary during a telethon on Sunday. He said Imran Khan’s hunch was that he was unable to fulfill his mission because the judiciary was not cooperating with him. “Imran wants the courts to send the opposition leaders to jails despite the fact that no corruption reference has so far been filed with the courts with concrete evidence,” he opined. Ahsan regretted that the country had sunk deep into the quagmire of loans. “Imran borrowed more loans in the last two years than what we had borrowed in our entire tenure, he said, adding that Imran borrowed loans to bridge the deficit.

“Since then our financial autonomy is at stake. This was the trap our enemies had laid for us. And now in lieu of these loans, we have put the autonomy of our institutions at stake,” he continued. Ahsan asked which projects the PTI government had initiated in its tenure.“These projects were launched when the PML-N was in power and were being completed now. The truth of the matter is that the incumbent government has failed to complete most of the projects initiated in our era,” he claimed. Ahsan asked as to who was responsible for Imran Khan’s incompetence. “Three years have passed and the ‘selected’ prime minister has failed to find a finance minister,” he bemoaned. He taunted Prime Minister Imran Khan for claiming that he had a dream team to run the country. “This is the dream team that you have gathered around you. These are all turncoats,” he added.

The PML-N leader appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of an allegation levelled against him that he had received Rs70 billion in kickbacks on the Sukkur-Multan Motorway. “If I have received the kickbacks, take action against me, otherwise stop my character-assassination,” he said emphatically.

Ahsan was of the view that Imran Khan could not hide his incompetence by levelling baseless charges against his political opponents. He regretted that the PTI government had slashed the budget allocated for the Higher Education Commission. “This government is ruining the country by destroying each and every institution,” he alleged.

He wondered as to when those who had brought the PTI to power would say ‘Enough is enough.’ He said if all the opposition parties gathered on one platform, the government could not last even 10 days. “The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is alive and is continuing its mission,” he said, adding that the goal of the alliance was to run the country in the light of the Constitution.

Meanwhile,leader of the opposition in the Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that it was PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s decision to seek the support of Balochistan Awami Party’ lawmakers for his election to the post.

Speaking to a aprivate TV channel, he said: “They approached me that we, a four member group headed by Dilawar, want to join you. Then, they approached chairman sahab [Bilawal],” he said. On the oppostion against BAP vote by Raza Rabbani, Mustafa Khokar and Aitzaz Ahsan, Gilani said we are a democratic party and we value dissent. Gilani said he was neither interested in the seat of the Senate chairmanship nor the leader of the opposition, but it was Bilawal who made the decision Meanwhile, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) served show cause notices on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) for alleged violation of its consensus decisions. The notices have been issued to the top leadership of the two opposition parties with the approval of the PDM chief Fazlur Rehman.

Responding to a question at an informal media talk, Secretary General PDM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who signed the show cause notices, confirmed issuing notices to the two parties’ leadership. “You will have to be answerable if you shatter the trust,” he said. The notices have been sent to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asfandyar Wali Khan.

The PPP has been asked to explain within a week its conduct of getting Yusuf Raza Gilani appointed as the Leader of Opposition in the Senate by defying the consensus decision of component parties of the Movement with the support of three senators from the treasury benches. The ANP leadership has been asked to explain as to why they supported the PPP in its efforts to get Gilani designated by securing the support of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) senators. The notices state that the move of the two parties had harmed the opposition alliance and its cause. The leadership of two opposition parties have been given seven days to respond.

Abbasi said notices had been WhatsApped, while the original copies would be handed over to the two parties’ leaderships during the Senate session. “The PDM has given seven days to the PPP and ANP for their replies. The reply would be presented in the PDM summit that would decide on the next course of action,” he added. Abbasi said it had been written on the notice that it would not be made public but if the two parties wanted to make them public, they could do so.

To another question, the ex-premier said the PDM would decide on whether to keep the two parties in the alliance or expel them.

Meanwhile, talking to Geo News, Abbasi said Hamza Shahbaz could get himself elected as the Punjab chief minister if the party seeks votes from the treasury benches. His statement was a reference to the PPP’s move to seek support from the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) for the post of Senate opposition leader.

Abbasi said if the PPP — having five MPAs in the Punjab Assembly — wanted to change the chief minister, then it could only be possible if the government members backed them. He slammed the PPP for being a “friendly opposition” and said people did not want this sort of a union in the Senate. “Instead, people want real opposition.”

Meanwhile, expressing surprise, the PPP questioned the PDM’s authority to send notice to an independent political party and termed the move a “childish attitude”.

“Show cause notices have never beenserved in political alliances and no explanations have ever been sought from the allied parties. Under what authority a show cause has been issued?” remarked ex-PM Raja Pervez Ashraf when he was contacted for the party’s point of view.

Pervez questioned as to why the long march was cancelled and linked with the resignations at the last minute.“They already knew that the PPP did not support the resignations politics but the issue of resignations was linked with the long march. We need to know who had advised the PML-N to link the resignations with the long march,” he said.

He said the PML-N should also tell on whose advice they had entered into a deal with the PTI for seat adjustments in the Senate elections in Punjab. “We realize that something is cooking up. We also have many questions for the PML-N,” he said.

He said despite an agreement with the PML-N in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, they did not give votes to Farhatullah Babar.

Pervez said despite being the PDM Vice President, he was not invited to a recent meeting that was chaired by the secretary general.“That meeting was illegal and its decision have no legal status,” he said.

Meanwhile, the PPPP Secretary General Farhatullah Babar said so far the party had not received any such notice and once received, it would be able to respond. He however questioned the authority of the alliance or its office-bearer to send a notice to one of the PDM component parties.

Reacting to the show cause notice, PPPP Secretary Information MNA Shazia Atta Marri said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal were harming the PDM only to push ahead their agenda for becoming prime minister.

“When a show cause would be issued for getting 11 senators selected from the Punjab with the connivance of PML-N and PTI? When a show cause would be issued for bracketing resignations with the long march? ” she asked. Shazia said the PML-N had helped the establishment and the government by cancelling the long march. “When will action be taken against the PML-N’ collusion with the establishment and the government?” she asked. Marri said the PML-N was only concerned with power and not the resolution of issues confronting the people.“Whatever successes the PDM achieved are the result of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s vision,” she said.