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Friday April 19, 2024

Bilawal leads long march against govt

Bilawal vows attacking the ‘selected’ government and forcing PM Imran Khan to resign, after reaching Islamabad

By Arshad Yousafzai & Imtiaz Hussain
February 28, 2022
On their way to Islamabad, the long march participants would pass through 23 districts and 37 cities in 10 days. -Photo PPP Media
On their way to Islamabad, the long march participants would pass through 23 districts and 37 cities in 10 days. -Photo PPP Media

KARACHI: With slogans of ‘Go Imran go’ and ‘Go Niazi go’, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, accompanied by other party leaders, launched the ‘Awami Long March’ of his party at the Mazar-e-Quaid on Sunday against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government.

On their way to Islamabad, the long march participants would pass through 23 districts and 37 cities in 10 days before reaching the federal capital. Addressing a public meeting before commencement of the long march, Bilawal said neither Sindh nor Pakistan could progress until the PTI-led coalition government was in power. He vowed attacking the ‘selected’ government and forcing Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign, after reaching Islamabad.

On Sunday, a big crowd of PPP workers gathered at the Mazar-e-Quaid. Besides Bilawal, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Information Minister Saeed Ghani, PPP Karachi Secretary General Javed Nagori, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, PPP Sindh President Nisar Khuhro, former Senate chairman Raza Rabbani and others also addressed the participants in the long march.

The Sindh CM said the Awami Long March would be the last nail in the coffin of the federal government. Murtaza Wahab said such a huge crowd shows that people want to remove the selected government. “Imran Khan should know that the next Prime Minister is Bilawal Bhutto,” he claimed.

Rabbani said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) had started his campaign against Ayub Khan from the Mazar-e-Quaid and Benazir Bhutto (BB) against Ghulam Ishaq Khan. Now another historic public long march, headed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, is leaving for Islamabad. Bilawal Bhutto is repeating the history of his grandfather and mother.

A big crowed received the Awami Long March on its arrival at Steel Town Karachi. Bilawal, in his brief address, said if the PPP formed the government, he would open the doors of Steel Mills.

In Sujawal, Bilawal addressed the party workers and public gathering. He said; “We have defeated General Zia and General Musharraf and now will defeat the puppet, selected, incompetent and illegitimate Imran Khan.”

On the first day, the protesters planned to reach Badin. After spending a night in Badin, the protesters would resume their march on Monday (today), and are expected to pass through Hyderabad, Hala, Nawabshah and Moro.

Addressing the long march participants in Thatta, Bilawal said his long march was aimed at ridding the people of inflation, load-shedding, shortage of gas and steering the country out of crises.

Separately, commenting on the PPP long march, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said in Islamabad on Sunday that the opposition parties and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lacked the capacity to secure resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Addressing a press conference, he said the PTI had "complete trust in its allies", but the joint opposition had reached a deadlock in their efforts to bring a no-trust motion. "The circus being staged by the opposition will hardly last nine days, as they have no idea about how to proceed with their plans."

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib Sunday slammed Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for misusing the Sindh government machinery and resources to hold a long march for political gains.

Sharing some pictures on his twitter handle to substantiate the claim, he wrote: “This is the real story of Bilawal’s march. Preparations are being made for the march by using the Sindh government’s machinery and resources to save the looted wealth amassed by Asif Ali Zardari in the name of paparwala (snack seller) and faloodehwala (cold dessert seller).”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) began its Ghotki-Karachi protest titled ‘Haqooq-e-Sindh march’ against the PPP-led provincial government on Saturday and reached Sukkur on Sunday. The march is led by PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi and party’s Sindh President Ali Zaidi.

Leaders of the party are participating in the anti-PPP march that will reach Karachi in nine days after passing through 27 districts of the province. Qureshi, addressing the march participant, said the PTI had become the voice of whole country. He said Bilawal had launched the long march only to protect the money accumulated by his father Asif Ali Zardari through loot and corruption. He said the PPP-led Sindh government had completely failed to provide relief to people even in 15 years. He said the PPP would have to be answerable for the 15-year misrule in the Sindh province.

Qureshi, addressing the march participants at Lakhi Ghulam Shah in Shikarpur, said he was surprised and saddened to hear that adviser to CM Nisar Khuhro used derogatory words against Imran Khan. He said he was assuring the people of Sindh that the PPP would be defeated in Sindh in the next elections.

PTI Sindh President Ali Zaidi, Ameer Bakhash Bhutto, Arbab Ghulam Rahim and others also addressed the rally. Ali Zaidi said education, water, health and infrastructure systems in Sindh had been destroyed and the ruling party in the province was involved in hoarding. He said the PTI, under the leadership of Imran Khan, will form government in the province next year.

Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh said that Bilawal was marching on Islamabad after ruining Sindh. He said the residents of Karachi wanted to ask Bilawal Zardari who was responsible for destruction of Karachi.

Separately, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said the “leaderless” and “aimless” alliance of the opposition parties posed no threat to the democratically elected government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). “We have been hearing for the last 15 to 20 days that the no-trust move was around the corner, but in reality that is beyond their power as they lack the capacity to bring the motion,” he said in a media talk in Dina, Jhelum.

“Who will prefer to get along with the opposition which does not know even about their leader or candidate for prime minister,” he questioned. To another query, he said that foolproof arrangements had been made for the safe evacuation of Pakistanis stranded in Ukraine due to the prevailing situation.