­­ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said he was not afraid of jails.

Speaking to journalists here, Bilawal said the PPP leaders had remained imprisoned in the past and cannot be blackmailed by the rulers.

The PPP chief said the party leaders were jailed by military rulers Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf’s and they were “ready to go to prisons during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure.” “This will be nothing new for us. We have served sentences during Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf’s rule,” he said.

Bilawal had earlier said that false cases were being made against his father, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, adding that Pakistan was passing through a major political era.

The PPP chief said the ‘selected government’ with a ‘selected Prime Minister’ and ‘selected ministers’ cannot be expected to deliver for the people.

He said the mini-budget presented by the PTI-led government would only push the poor further to the corner. “The PTI had promised to make things earlier for the common man but they have started to target them as soon after taking over power,” he alleged.

“The mini-budget only benefits non-filers and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ATMs (Automated Teller Machines),” he remarked.

The PPP chief said his party completely rejected the mini-budget. “The relief granted to non-filers matter is no less than a scandal. I thought Finance Minister Asad Umar will introduce a friendly budget but it only provided relief to non-filers and will increase unemployment,” he added.

Bilawal also regretted that the increase in gas and electricity prices was adversely affecting the poor. The PPP leader alleged that the PTI-led government had no plan. “The mini-budget is only a mini drama. The PTI is in the habit of making false claims,” he said.

About the PTI’s austerity drive, the PPP chief said: “Pakistan is being laughed at owing the auction of PM’s House buffaloes and cars.”

He urged PM Imran Khan to fulfill the promises made with the people during the election campaign.

On the foreign policy, Bilawal said: “Irresponsible statements were issued regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. There should have been direct talks with Beijing. The nation awaits details of PM Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia.”

Separately, PPP’s Farhatullah Babar yesterday said that a constitutional amendment bill to create South Punjab province has already been passed by the Senate in August 2013 and the new government could adopt the same as its own Bill or make further amendments if it was sincere in implementing its promise of carving out the province.

Addressing a seminar on Seraiki province here, he said that the multi-party Parliamentary Commission set up in 2012 of which he was the Chairman had already prepared a comprehensive report on the basis of thousands of communications on the subject and public hearings held on the issue.

He said that every political party wanted to get credit for any positive initiative and there was nothing wrong with it. So if the new government wanted to take credit for the new province it could adopt the report and the Bill already passed with some modifications to give it the colour of its own initiative. “I am confident no member of the erstwhile Parliamentary Committee will have any objection if the PTI government wished to do so,” he said.

Babar said this model of getting important legislation passed had already been successfully tried in the case of Right to Information Bill some 18 months ago.

He said the promised new province is part of the PTI’s hundred days agenda. “The party can run away from it only at a huge political cost and loss of credibility he said and urged the Seraiki people to hold the new government accountable for this,” he said.

Meanwhile yesterday, PPP Secretary Information Senator Moula Bux Chandio, reacting strongly to the proposal by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shehbaz Sharif that there should be a social contract between institutions, said that this proposal was in violation of constitution.

In a statement, Chandio said that social contract was always only between the state and the people which existed in the shape of 1973 constitution.

He said there was never a contract between institutions as parliament was the supreme institutions and “all other institutions are under the Parliament. No institution is under any institution but the parliament.”

Senator Chandio said it was surprising that PML-N leadership had not learnt anything despite being in politics and government for decades. “Shahbaz Sharif holds a responsible post (leader of the opposition in the National Assembly) and should speak responsibly,” he contended.