ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Sunday the ideology of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) had become dead as the poor masses in Sindh were dying because of poverty, malnutrition and dog bites. She was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected office-bearers of the Hafizabad Press Club.

In her response to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks at his party’s convention in Quetta, she said the deposed corrupt political leadership was making false narrative to mislead the nation.  “They only feel pain of poor masses when they are not in power. Public to them means their dear ones and close aides. But, the real problem and matter of concern is the money they have plundered from this country,” she added. Firdous said a politically immature party leader (Bilawal) was elaborating on the political philosophy of ZAB in Quetta, claiming himself as his successor.

“He should realise that Larkana, the city of late Zulfikar Bhutto, has failed to provide medical relief to dog bite victims and the people of Thar are dying due to malnutrition. If the Bhutto’s ideology were alive then the plunderers of public money would have been behind the bars,” she commented. She lambasted Bilawal for criticising the government, and said the Sindh chief minister was a real puppet head of the provincial government. “Prime Minister Imran Khan believes in merit whereas the Sindh government is totally controlled by the PPP’s top brass,” the SAPM alleged.

“Bilawal, you should know that umpire who you refer to in your speeches, is the people who rejected your leadership in Larkana polls. PPP chairman will have to remain in anxiety for the next four years,” she predicted, and claimed that people would reelect PM Imran in the next elections.

Again referring to Bilawal, she said, “Your party has been limited to few districts of Sindh. You buried the ideology of Bhutto which has lead to the downfall of PPP in the entire country.” She added that Karachi had turned into Mohenjo Daro during the past two decades of PPP rule.

Dr Firdous said people had seen a family flying abroad after getting bail from the court. “Along with Nawaz Sharif, ‘facilitator’ Shehbaz Sharif has also left the country, ignoring his basic role of an Opposition Leader in the National Assembly,” she regretted.

Referring to Shehbaz’s claim of committing corruption of not even a penny, she said, “Yes, he is right. He has not embezzled a penny, but billions of rupees and used the looted money to buy palaces for his children.”

She further said the Sharif family would have to face the law as the country would fall into a crisis if the former prime minister and the chief minister were allowed to go scot-free. The SAPM said the government knew the problems being faced by masses and was taking steps to overcome them. She said PM Imran had two options: either to let the country become bankrupt or shift some burden to masses to revive the economic structure. Dr Firdous hoped that inflation and economic crisis would come to an end in near future as the government was working hard to provide relief to the downtrodden segments of the society. She said realising the problems being faced by the farmers, the prime minister had increased the rates of wheat by Rs365 per 40 kilo gram besides taking steps to ensure availability of fertilizers and seeds at low costs. “For the first time, the incumbent government has included agriculture sector in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was earlier confined to mere roads and infrastructure,” she claimed.

She said the national development was impossible without bringing the agricultural revolution as around 70 percent people of the country were linked with the sector.

“We are going to strengthen the small farmers through easy loans. Moreover, we are also working to provide health cards to the journalists under the Ehsaas programme,” she informed.

The SAPM also announced a grant of Rs1 million for the development of Hafizabad Press Club.