ISLAMABAD               -             Pakistan Peoples’ Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday predicted the downfall of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf led government within months.

Speaking at a massive public rally at Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi to mark former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s death anniversary, the PPP leader said 2020 would be the election year. “The upcoming year (2020) will be the year of transparent election in the country,” he said.

Benazir Bhutto - assassinated in 2007 - served as Prime Minister from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996. She was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation.

Every year, the PPP holds a public meeting or rally to mark Benazir’s death anniversary. This year, however, the day has assumed more significance as chairman of the party and her son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari selected the same venue for the public meeting where his mother was assassinated. The call pulled a good crowd.

Bilawal said: “The people were protesting against the inflation and joblessness. The economy is on the brink of destruction and the government has excluded over 0.8 million people from the BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme) which is a grave cruelty,” he asserted.

Bilawal said that martyred Benazir Bhutto struggled for the rights of general public for 30 years.

He said that Rawalpindi witnessed how the people’s leader was treated, adding that Bhutto gave rights to the labourers.

Bilawal said that his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave rights to labourers when he was prime minister and his mother Benazir Bhutto had fought two dictators during her lifetime.

“Benazir Bhuto provided Pakistan with the much-needed missile technology. The country is being ruled by ‘political orphans. Today the media is under siege and judiciary is under attack,” he added.

Bilawal said Benazir Bhutto provided rights to women, freed the media and elevated Pakistan’s name in the world. “Political orphans are panicking, their puppet rule is shaking today,” he said. “They are unable to run the country and economy.”

The PPP chairman said a country could not flourish with its people going to bed empty stomach. “The country would not be able to function if political orphans continued to rule,” he said.

Bilawal said people all over the country were saying goodbyes to the incumbent government. “The country, democracy and freedom (of speech) are in danger,” he said.

Bilawal said Benazir was the strongest chain of Federation of Pakistan and those who assassinated her had planned to break the chain but failed due to “Pakistan Khappe” slogan of Asif Ali Zardari soon after the national tragedy.

The PPP Chairman said the people of Pakistan would never forget their brave leader, who sacrificed everything for the country and for the rights of its downtrodden and barefoot masses.

Bilawal said that as a young daughter whose father and the most popular leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged by dictator, she fought bravely for the ideals her father embraced the gallows for.

“Benazir Bhutto led the followers of Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto into an untiring struggle against the brutal tyrant in shape of Zia. She suffered solitary confinement, imprisonments and forced exiles while fighting for restoration of democracy,” he said.

The PPP Chairman pointed out that Benazir Bhutto defeated the dictatorship and was given power under compulsion after its remnants failed to completely hijack the 1988 general elections.

“After elections, as Prime Minister, she ordered release of all the political prisoners in the country and launched programmes for the development of the country and the masses,” he added.

He said programmes covering health, education, poverty eradication, women development and defence, she launched, put the country onto the path to progress and prosperity.

“The ballistic missile programme made our defence invincible in the wake of nuclear programme launched by her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto before his judicial murder,” he said.

Bilawal reiterated his commitment to the mission of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and pledged that he would continue the struggle with the support of masses and supporters.

He said Benazir would continue to live in the hearts and minds of the people as her legacy would never be forgotten in the history of Pakistan and her struggle for democracy, human rights and peaceful society.

Other PPP leaders also addressed the rally before Bilawal.