SAHIWAL/OKARA: The ‘Awami March’ of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government reached Pattoki late Saturday evening, and it would enter Lahore on Sunday, on the eighth day of its start from Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi.
On Saturday, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the march participants in several cities including Sahiwal, Okara and Pattoki. He again demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan tender his resignation himself, or dissolve assemblies and hold general election afresh, if he wanted to save himself from the humiliation of ouster of his government through a no-confidence motion in the assembly.
The PPP chairman said they were holding a long march against terrorism, inflation and rising unemployment in the country. He said they were protesting against the selected and incompetent prime minister, and his dictatorial style.
Bilawal held Imran Khan responsible for the recent terrorist attacks in the country and said that blasts were occurring in Balochistan and Peshawar due to incompetence of the premier.
He said that there was an economic crisis in the country and the common man was facing difficulties in making ends meet due to failed policies of the PTI government.
Imran Khan did nothing for the agriculture sector of Pakistan and now farmers, who were already suffering due to inflation, were being exploited.
Bilawal said, "We have been continuously on the roads since February 27. The march was started from Mazar-i-Quaid; we reached Okara on Saturday and we have set out for accountability.”
He said, “We have been warmly welcomed here in Okara and this is a historic awami march. We are inviting the people of Okara to join us against this selected and corrupt prime minister."
He said, “PPP believes that the prosperity of farmers ensures progress of the country.”
Earlier, PPP leaders, activists and ticket holders from Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Okara districts warmly welcomed the participants in the long march.
Sahiwal PPP leader Chaudhry Zaki told The News that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto was received by party units at Kassowal, Chichawatni, Iqbal Nagar, Harappa, and Sahiwal bypass.
In his address, Bilawal said that enthusiasm of Okara people showed that Niazi rule was taking its last breath.
He said that the long march against the selected government was heading successfully towards Islamabad.
He said, “Niazi must resign himself, or, he would have to leave on our arrival in Islamabad. Only departure of Niazi would bring prosperity in the country. The people had been starving on account of inability and incapacity of the rulers. Now the departure of the government has been fixed.”
PPP District President Sajjadul Hassan Chaudhry, Hassan Murtaza, former PM Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Sherry Rahman also addressed the people.
Bilawal said the people of Okara had always welcomed them in the past. The youth of the city had always stood with them. He said that now it was time that the young men must join the PPP struggle. He said, “We will make the incapacitated gang flee, and get freedom for the nation.”
Bilawal said that he was raising his voice against the increasing price-hike and for the rights of people. The PTI government had deteriorated the country’ economy, he said adding that the PPP had always been serving farmers and it would continue to do so in future. Bilawal said the PPP would give ownership to Katchi Abadi residents and restore the students unions.
Earlier, PPP leaders, activists and ticket-holders from Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Okara districts welcomed the participants in the long march.
The march participants reached Pattoki late in the evening. Addressing people, Bilawal said the march participants left Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi seven days ago, and they were accorded rousing welcomes everywhere on the way to Islamabad.
He said the ‘selected’ always told people not to worry [ghabrana nahi hay] and continued increasing prices of petrol, electricity, gas, sugar and wheat every month. But now he himself seemed worried; his legs are trembling and he is sweating for fear of the PPP long march. He claimed that PM Imran Khan reduced prices of petrol and electricity only due to fear of jiyalas [PPP activists].
Bilawal said PPP founder chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave the nation a manifesto; Asif Ali Zardari upgraded farmers and facilitated them, but the selected ruined every progressive step taken by the previous governments.
Our Correspondent adds from Lalamusa: Pakistan People’s Party leader and former information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira Saturday said the temperament of the rulers was spreading hatred, and that was the reason they should be sent packing now.
Addressing a press conference, he said the rulers had been frightened now and trembling because of the PPP Awami March. The long march had forced the rulers to lower rates of electricity and petroleum products instead of increasing it. The rulers, due to their stubbornness and their false ego, have brought Pakistan to the point where they could not fulfil any of their promises, Kaira added.
“We would not do any unconstitutional, unlawful or impolitic activity,” the PPP leader said adding that the Awami Long March had been peaceful so far and it would remain so till its completion. “If Imran Khan can hold a rally at D-Chowk, we can also,” Kaira said. “We never got the government with the support of any powers other than people’s vote and Allah’s blessings,” he added.
Kaira claimed that PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi was holding a ‘marchi’ [rally with few people] in Sindh, and there was no comparison between PPP’s long march and PTI’s rally.
He regretted that PTI government’s foreign policy had badly failed. Despite having fulfilled 26 out of 27 points of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Pakistan had not come out of the grey list. Kaira said unfortunately, a wave of terrorism had started again and suicide attacks were being carried out on mosques and imambargahs. He offered condolences to the bereaved families of Peshawar mosque suicide attack victims. Bilawal Bhutto is likely to address a gathering at the Nasir Bagh, Lahore on Sunday (today).
The Auditor General of Pakistan found irregularities worth Rs77 billion in over 7,000 urban properties of the Evacuee...
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has constituted an advisory council on IT and digital economy in order to...
"I strongly condemn the arbitrary arrest of Imran Riaz Khan by Punjab police tonight," Imran Khan says
KABUL: China’s ambassador announced trade and investment plans for Afghanistan on Tuesday.At a rare press conference...
Tariq Bashir Cheema said over 1.2 million tubewells would be switched to solar energy to reduce input cost and enhance...
LONDON: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered two shock departures from his government Tuesday, including his...