ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has made an offer to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) that if the opposition alliance withdraws its resignations condition and adopts the strategy of no-confidence motion, his party is likely to go along with it.
“There is a high probability of the opposition working together now that the PDM has come to the same conclusion that the PPP had reached earlier, which was of the no-confidence.
“And if the PDM is ready to retreat on its stance on resignations and adopt my viewpoint on the no-confidence, we can certainly work together,” he said while talking to the media at the Parliament House along with former prime minister and opposition leader in the Senate Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday.
He said all parties have to play their role. “We have to dislodge the government, no matter the number of marches we have to take,” he said. He said his party’s reservations regarding the prices of essential commodities being multiplied due to the mini-budget had proved correct as Pakistan had already been facing an economic crisis before the mini-budget, which has now led to historic price hike, unemployment and poverty. “People are being crushed under this burden,” he said.
The PPP chairman said his party had already decided that it would take to the streets against the incapable government and start long march from Karachi on Feb 27. Bilawal said his demand from the first day was to bring a no-confidence motion as the government should be dislodged through democratic means. “We can never resort to undemocratic practices,” he said.
The PPP chairman said the bill regarding the State Bank of Pakistan was bulldozed at around midnight, counting was not done, the PPP members amendments were not heard. “This was the biggest economic attack on the country in its history,” he said.
After the legislation, he said the State Bank was not answerable to the government, parliament, judiciary and the people. “Rather, it will be run on the dictation of international financial institutions,” he said.
Bilawal said the accounts of country’s defence budget would be in the State Bank and the government, parliament or the judiciary would have no control over it. Our defence expenditure would be for the world to see and the nuclear programme would be threatened. “This government has attacked our economic sovereignty and democratic liberties,” he said.
In a reply to a question regarding the presidential system, he said that history was witness to the fact that our country had been dismembered under that system.
About opposition’s plan of brining a no-confidence motion against the Senate chairman, Bilawal said “our numbers are not enough to bring the no-confidence. Our case of Senate chairman election is already in the courts of law,” he said.
About convict Shah Rukh Jatoi’s stay in a hospital for several months, he said any prisoner including Shah Rukh Jatoi had the right to treatment. “The Sindh chief minister and health minister have ordered an inquiry into the case,” he said adding that killing a human being is killing all humanity “and we will not help any killer”.
He said the arrested accused are brought to hospitals for treatment. “This is a prison system in which the government has no role,” he added.
He said the in Pakistan, not one but two laws are followed. “Whether it is Islamabad jail, Punjab jail or Sindh jail, two systems work, we are against it,” he said.
He said the first phase of the local governments elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the referendum against the PTI government. “All the opposition parties outperformed the PTI in those elections,” he said.
Separately, Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate Sherry Rehman Tuesday slammed the government over soaring imports and increasing trade deficit.
“The inability of this government to balance trade as a consequence of sluggish exports compared to skyrocketing imports, has negatively impacted the entire state of the economy, as well as the wellbeing of the citizens of this country," she said while expressing her concerns.
She said according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan’s trade deficit for the month of December stood at a whopping $4.9 billion, which was an 87% year-on-year increase.
She said the trade deficit for the first six months of the financial year (December-July) stood at a massive $25.5 billion and this represents a 107% year-on-year increase.
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