FAISALABAD/SHEIKHUPURA - PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutoo Zardari yesterday said time had come to get rid of Jati Umra rulers and it would happen this year.

Addressing a public meeting after leading an accountability rally from Lahore to Faisalabad, Bilawal said no progress was being made in the country, but it was only being publicised through media advertisements.

He said Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had wasted billions of rupees of public exchequer on susti roti, Danish schools, Ashiana scheme and Bhawalpur Solar Project while he had totally failed to provide relief to the people in the health and education sectors in the province.

He was warmly welcomed by the local leaders and workers on his first visit to Faisalabad. The city had been decorated with banners of multiple colopurs. His rally participants were warmly received at Bashir Nizami Chowk, Abdullahpur Chowk, Canal Road and other points. The PPP rally, after marching through different routes, reached District Council Square where it turned into a big public gathering.

Bilawal said condemned the government for making Zardari’s CPEC policy controversial. He said foreign policy of the government could not be tolerated as the country was facing Indian threats to block water and international isolation. Bilawal said, “He had urged the prime minister to form a commission on the Panama issue and facilitate passage of the bill of the opposition, but they did not accept our demands. We will not budge on our demands. The country needs a clear-cut foreign policy and a foreign minister.”

The PPP chairman said Sharifs had made false cases against the party leaders and sent them behind bars, but they themselves set up offshore companies and sent their money abroad.

He said Main Sahib was busy making tall claims of progress, but Faisalabad, the hub of textile industry of Pakistan, was facing closure of units. “After announcing the fraud “kissan package”, now the government has given a fraud textile package and this package was announced when we are taking out a rally in Faisalabad,” Bilawal said. He lamented in the tenure of so-called growth, farmers were burning their crops; children of the poor were leaving education due to poor condition of government educational institutes. He alleged the PML-N, during its election campaign, had promised to end power loadshedding in three years, but instead, the government raised electricity tariff to Rs 16 per unit, which was Rs 8 in the tenure of PPP. He alleged farmers were not being paid prices of their yield. “Sharifs’ factories are expanding, but labourers are committing suicides. State institutions are being distributed by the rulers among their friends. Jati Umra is witnessing progress, but the youth of the country are facing unemployment,” he lamented.

He strongly criticised privatisation policy and said it was not a new story as they had already distributed banks among their friends, sugar mills among relatives and cement factories to their beloved ones. “We will not allow them to do so any more,” he said.

Bilawal announced PPP had launched the movement which would not stop until the ouster of Jati Umra rulers.  Bilawal said he had come out to accomplish the mission of his mother and grandfather and eliminate the remains of the Zia era. Bilawal also raised the slogans of “Jag Punjab jag, teri pug noo lag gaya Sharifan da daag” and “Go Nawaz Go”.

Earlier, Bilawal, leading a big rally, reached Sheikhupura where he was given a rousing welcome by the party activists and citizens.

Addressing a big gathering, he criticised the government policies and termed the rulers enemies of farmers, labourers, traders and common people.

The movement launched by PPP to topple the Nawaz-led government would not stop and continue in the coming days. “The rulers have failed to meet their promise to end electricity and gas outages. There was no loadshedding in the government of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto,” Bilalwal said.

The PPP chairman said his party, on coming to power, would leave no stone unturned to provide relief to the general public. “Had the present government completed the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project, gifted to Pakistan by former President Asif Ali Zardari, the country would have attained prosperity.

Punjab PPP President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Secretary General Nadeem Afzal Chan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Asif Khan, Usman Nisar Pannu, Azhar Virk, Shahbaz Bhatti, Mumtaz Moon, Mushtaq Dogar, Mirza Haroon Rasheed, Haji Yaseen, Mian Shabbir and others were also present on this occasion.