LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said if people of Punjab stood by the PPP, Imran Khan would find no place to hide.
Addressing a public gathering at Sial Sharif in Sargodha, he said that it would be written in golden words in history that these were the PPP activists who kicked the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government out of the corridors of power.
The PPP leader said that the PTI government brought destruction instead of tabdeeli (change) in the country. He said PTIjiyalas were now out to send the ‘selected’ government home.
He accused the PTI government of compromising on the country’s economic independence. “The deal struck by the government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in fact anti-poor,” he said and added now even Transparency International had certified that record corruption had taken place under the PTI government.
Slamming the PTI government for the false promises to provide 10 million jobs to the youth after coming to power, he said that the truth of the matter is that people have been rendered jobless instead, and the agriculture sector has also been destroyed.
The PPP chairman further said that the government was attacking people’s democratic and economic rights. “Imran Khan, I am telling you, once you are out of office, you will find no place to hide,” he warned.
Bilawal claimed that PPP believed in serving the masses. “We have faced dictatorships in the past, and we are the ones who will pull the country out of all crises,” he said. He said that PPP would set out on a long march towards Islamabad from Karachi on February 27. “And when we will reach Islamabad, the world would see how we present our demands there,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Democratic Movement’s chairman and the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl’s supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman reiterated to move ahead with the plan of the opposition parties’ alliance to hold the “anti-inflation” march on Islamabad on March 23, on the occasion of Pakistan Day despite, the government’s request to defer its plans.
“March 23 is not only the day of those who parade. It is also the day of the people who march for the people’s rights,” said Fazl, while addressing the media after attending a meeting of the JUIF Sindh’s council members in Karachi.
He said that he had not sent Nawaz Sharif abroad and would not bring him back. He said that due to the skyrocketing inflation, the country has been pushed into such a quagmire from where there seems no possibility to come out anytime soon.
Fazl also rejected the presidential form of government and said the debate about it was part of a conspiracy to disintegrate the country. “The talk of a presidential system is an attack on the basic structure of the constitution and has been rejected by all political forces,” he said. The presidential system is dictatorial, which had caused the fall of Dhaka and damaged Siachen, Kargil, and Kashmir.
He said that the controversial State Bank of Pakistan-related bill should have been referred to the steering committee first for consultation but it did not occur. “The SBP bill was passed because of the absence of members of the Senate. The main responsibility for the legislation was the one who has issued the agenda at 11pm,” Fazl said.
He also announced to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 and said that the current rulers have handed over Kashmir and Kashmiris to the enemy. Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a referendum in Azad Kashmir and he does not even know Pakistan's state position regarding Kashmir. “Even Modi is not ready to pick up Imran Khan’s phone.”
The PDM chief also said that the opposition parties are still united under the PDM’s banner. JUIF’s central secretary general Allama Abdul Ghafoor Haidri, Sindh secretary general Allama Rashid Soomro, Qari Muhammad Usman, Aslam Ghori, and other leaders were also present in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced to launch an agitation drive and public contact campaign all over Sindh against the newly-enacted Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Act-2021.
Asad Umar, who is also the central Secretary-General of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, made the announcement to this effect on Sunday while addressing a press conference after chairing the meeting of PTI’s provincial advisory committee. It was announced on the occasion that the central leadership of the party would participate in the upcoming protest long march of the PTI from Ghotki to Karachi starting from February 26.
The minister said on the occasion that the newly adopted provincial local government amendment law violated the Constitution of 1973. He said that dacoits had been holding sway over Sindh for the last 14 years as the dacoits’ hold in the province would be eliminated at all costs on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said that they would ensure the provision of the fundamental rights to the people of Sindh after getting rid of dacoits in the province. He said the PTI was all set to form the next provincial government in Sindh in 2023.
Umar said that he was saddened to see the suffering of the people of Sindh. He said that the provision of health care services was one of the basic needs of the people of Sindh as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab had done work to fulfil this need.
He said the state had assumed the responsibility of providing health treatment services to the people but the Sindh government was adamant not to take any step in this regard. He ridiculed the statements of the spokesperson for the Sindh government that people from outside the province came to the province to get health care services.
He said that unfair means had to be used in Sindh to get jobs while small farmers in the province had to wait much to get water for cultivation. The federal minister said the local government law in the province violated Article 140-A of the Constitution.
The minister said that an empowered city government had to be formed in Karachi in accordance with Article 140-A. He predicted that the next mayor of Karachi would belong to PTI as he (the next mayor) would do such work that hadn’t been done by the Sindh government.
He said that every resident of Sindh would be contacted under the upcoming public contact campaign of PTI to be launched in the province. He said the era of hopelessness was about to end in Sindh. He said the Sindh government was responsible for delay in launching the K-IV bulk water supply project for Karachi.
He said the work to build the K-IV project would very soon begin after its approval. Also speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Zaidi, said that no political party had been ruling in Sindh as instead, Zardari’s mafia had the hold in the province. He said the Zardari’s mafia had been treating the chief minister of the province as its assistant.
He said that they toured different cities of Sindh and became shocked to see maltreatment of the people of the province. He lamented the ruling party in Sindh that talked so much about democracy had denied membership of the standing committees of the provincial assembly to the opposition legislators.
He said that although the Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, headed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights but most of the human rights violations did take place in Sindh.
He said that they had informed Bilawal that PTI was going to hold a long march from Ghotki to Karachi from February 26 as Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would especially attend the march.
He said that improvement in Karachi’s affairs was compulsory for saving Pakistan’s economy from damage. He said the Zardari’s mafia had to be sent packing for uplifting Karachi.
Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wanted to hold a long march, he should fulfill his desire. Just as the PPP has reviewed the SBP Bill in the Senate, it will also review the decision of the long march.
If the PPP made a long march towards Punjab, Ali Zaidi has also called for a long march towards Sindh. Somewhere along the way there will be a “claw test”, he warned. Qureshi said there is no unity in the PDM. The PMLN is saying that the PPP has deceived them on the State Bank Bill. Maulana Fazlur Rehman has asked the PMLN and the PPP to seek answers from their absent members. Gilani is saying that they got the agenda at 12 o’clock at night. Yousaf Raza Gilani could have reached Islamabad in five hours if he wanted. He said he often travels from Multan to Islamabad at night. He offered Gilani to travel with him in his car at night. They have a secret about the way Gilani was elected, he added. He said on March 22-23, the Islamic states foreign ministers are hosting a meeting for which letters have been written to the foreign ministers. The purpose of this meeting is to meet on the issues facing the Muslim Ummah and to come up with a common strategy. They will show the foreign ministers the March 23 parade. In which they will see their civilization, culture, forces discipline and hopefully they will be excluded from this national day, he added.
He expressed these views while talking to media here Sunday. He said the real face of India has been exposed before the whole world. The Indian government is a staunch promoter of Hindutva ideology. They are not coming out of RSS thinking. Voices are being raised from within India against Hindu Rashtra thinking. Pakistan has generously issued visas to Indians. The foreign minister said India is also working on Pakistani visas with cunning excuses. India is not giving visas to Pakistani pilgrims visiting other shrines including Ajmer Sharif. He said there is no obstacle from the PTI for South Punjab province.
The PMLN should not play with destiny of 35 million people of South Punjab regarding South Punjab province. Why the PPP and the PMLN were reluctant to make South Punjab province? He said they are presenting a bill for the province. Let’s move forward on it. Just as the PPP supported the PTI on the SBP Bill, it should also support the South Punjab province. To a question, he said Gilani did not know that he had written a letter to Bilawal. Letters are always written to the leadership, he added. He said the prime minister would leave for China on February 4 to express solidarity with China. China is their strategic partner. In future, China will also discuss the deteriorating situation in the region, especially Afghanistan and Kashmir. He said incidents of terrorism in Balochistan were unfortunate. Some forces do not want to see peace in the region. Spoilers will continue to play their game, he further added.
To a question regarding fertilizer crisis, he said in order to increase the production of fertilizers, they have provided complete gas supply to the fertilizer factories so that full production of fertilizers can be achieved. They are trying to provide a urea fertilizer bag worth Rs9,000 in the world market at Rs1760. They want to give relief to the farmers but fertilizer dealers are doing blackmarketing. They will deal with hoarders with iron hand, he added.
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