GARHI KHUDA BAKSH - Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who is mired in corruption cases, yesterday announced to launch a movement to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

Addressing a public gathering here in connection with the 40th death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former president said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has badly failed and his government’s policies have made the life of people miserable.

He went on to say, “It is time for us to march towards Islamabad and oust them [government]. I don’t want to do this because I want to be in government.

“[I want to do this because] he (Khan) has already taken the country 50 years back. If we allow him to remain, he will take us 100 years back.”

Zardari’s son and PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also said he will overthrow the PTI government if it tried to repeal the 18th amendment.

Addressing the public meeting after his father, Bilawal said the people of the country wanted to get rid of PTI government which, he claimed, came was formed through massive rigging in the general elections.

He alleged that Imran Khan wanted to loot the resources of Sindh which the people of the province would not allow. The natural resources of Sindh were the target of PTI government, he added.

The PPP chairman said PM Khan was also hitting the people by increasing the cost of basic commodities. The ‘selected’ prime minister, he said, was actually terrorizing the people through the price hike.

Earlier, Asif Zardari in his speech also said that inflation, unemployment and bad economic situation had hit the poor hard and it had become difficult for them to even pay utility bills. He said the prices of vegetables have doubled during the PTI government’s tenure.

The PPP leader asked the people to be prepared for march towards Islamabad, saying that he had already said the PTI government’s main target was 18th government.

He said, “Before the elections, I told you that they want to repeal the 18th Amendment... That’s why they are lodging cases against us. At the time, some friends believed me and some people made fun.

“Now you have seen that the ‘selected’ prime minister’s [bubble] has burst. He [Khan] said he does not have funds. If you can’t collect funds through the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) then leave.

He told the gathering, “Be patient, we will soon announce a campaign to topple the government. We will not stage sit-in like them (PTI) and will continue sleeping on the roads till they resign.”

The PPP leader said his party would continue the struggle for the democratic rights of the people of Pakistan.

He demanded the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case be reopened to set the record straight. He said those who made judicial murder of Bhutto were still afraid of PPP and Bhuttos.

Interestingly the PPP under Asif Zardari’s lead ruled for a full five year term after the murder of his wife and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, but their government failed to bring the culprits of BB’s murderers to book.

Bilawal termed ZAB death sentence as ‘judicial murder’ and said that his grandfather had been punished for strengthening the defence of the country. He said that Bhutto had laid the foundation of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in 1972 which completed in 1978.

“History will give a lesson to those, who never get the lesson from the history,” he said, adding that justice would begin with provision of justice to ‘Bhutto Shaheed’. He said he was hopeful for justice from the judiciary.

The PPP chairman reiterated that the party was standing firm on its ideology given by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and followed by his mother Benazir Bhutto. He vowed that the mission of their leaders would be accomplished and democracy will be victorious in the country.

Taking aim at the government, Bilawal alleged that the government was increasing unemployment instead of providing opportunities. The rulers had failed to run the national economy, he said.

“Since PTI has come to power, they have done nothing with sincerity, except lying. There is a tsunami of inflation. Everything is expensive.

“The finance minister says that their economic policies will make the people scream [with agony]. He says he doesn’t know anything about agriculture. I want to ask: is he a minister or an economic terrorist?

He termed the cases against PPP leadership as ‘political engineering’ and ‘political revenge’. He claimed that the courts were well aware of the ‘fake’ cases’.

“People are being rendered homeless due to encroachment measures. Someone tell them that economy is not run on charity or magic. When we try to show them the mirror, they start NAB-gardi.

“But do they think that Bhutto’s grandson can be threatened; that Benazir’s son will be scared; and that PPP workers will run away? We will fight together, struggle together and complete Benazir and Zulfikar Bhutto’s incomplete mission.”

Bilawal claimed that cases against him were based on “false allegations” and he had not been given a fair chance to present his defence in the court.

He questioned why the Supreme Court had taken a suo motu notice of the fake bank accounts case when, according to him, it can only exercise this power in human rights cases or legal complications.

The PPP leader went on to say, “The reason given [for transfer of their case from Sindh to Rawalpindi] was that the progress of this case was slow, even though the case was being heard in a banking court and the FIA had even presented an initial challan.

“Aren’t missing persons, Zulfiqar and Benazir Bhutto murder cases also proceeding slowly? I am not saying that don’t hold anyone accountable but don’t use accountability to hide your sins or as a revenge tool.”

Bilawal said when he asked that why the National Action Plan is not implemented and pointed out federal ministers’ close ties to militants, a movement was started to declare him as anti-national.

“I demanded the removal of that trio but Khan instead appointed a man who is nominated in cases from Daniel Pearl to Benazir’s murders.

The PPP leader said that the PTI government can’t even tolerate the name of late Benazir. “[They hate her] so much so that they want to remove her name from the Benazir Income Support Programme. They actually want to end the programme but Benazir is not a person, she is a mission.”

 

 

‘Save Daddy’ train march has already flopped: Fawad

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry seemed unimpressed by Zardari and Bilawal’s indication to march towards the capital.

Responding to the fiery speeches of PPP top leaders, he asked, “If the PPP respects the courts then why and against whom has it announced the march?”

“It would be better if they march against their own corruption,” he advised, adding that “had Bhutto sahab been alive today, he would have also launched a protest march against this PPP’s corruption.”

Chaudhry said that it is normal for “corruption fiends to resort to protests when their addiction is being treated”.

The minister suggested that the PPP of today only has a superficial resemblance to that of Bhutto’s PPP. “The extent of this PPP’s relation to Zulfiqar Bhutto is similar to PML-N’s relation to Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he said. “For how long will the keep on selling their relation with Bhutto and Benazir’s name?”

Fawad Chaudhry made it clear that “speeches, clamour and threats would not save them from accountability, adding that “you can take to the streets but then the public would itself settles scores with you.”