On Sunday, PPP President Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had never demanded “relief” and instead wanted “democracy, [a] level playing field, and an end to unemployment, inflation and poverty”
In response to a query about the government’s claim that the PDM was created only to “seek an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance)”-like concession, Bilawal spoke to reporters in Thatta when he made the remarks.
He said the NRO was only taken up by the government when it had no response to the criticism of the PDM, but people could “clearly see through these tactics”
To answer concerns about any differences between the PDM and the PPP, he said: “Our CEC (Central Executive Committee) has endorsed every decision of the PDM.” He emphasised that decisions on contesting the forthcoming by-elections or any other elections would be taken “with consensus” from the PDM forum.
The PPP chief rubbished the previous day’s remarks from Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, who said the PDM had admitted defeat and secured the PPP. “I understand that PDM’s win is PPP’s win and PPP’s win is PDM’s win so we are one. When PDM wins the people of Pakistan win,” he said.
‘NAP not being followed
Bilawal also condemned the Balochistan incident on Sunday, where 11 coal miners were abducted and shot dead.
“I strictly condemn the terrorist and murderous actions taken against coal miners and call on the government to implement and implement the National Action Plan (NAP),” he said.
He said that ever since the current government came to power, the NAP has been ignored and not pursued. Bilawal claimed that “major terrorists are fleeing” and that “let go” were also the culprits involved in the Army Public School (APS) attack.
“Our innocent people are left at the mercy of these terrorists, no investigations are taking place and no one is captured,” Bilawaa said.
He said that if they did their work instead of “doing politics and making noise about PDM,” referring to the interior minister and the federal government, then such accidents could be stopped.
Sindh and Balochistan Islands
The chairman of the PPP also explored the continuing dispute between the federal and Sindh governments over the proposed occupation of the islands of Sindh and Balochistan, starting with Bundal and Buddo.
He said the voice of the PPP was the most prominent in relation to the question of the islands and that the PPP was at the forefront of fighting them if such efforts were made under authoritarian rule.
In addition, Bilawal said that the Sindh cabinet and Sindh Assembly had passed resolutions to illustrate the “wishes and rejection of this move by the people of Sindh” and addressed them to the entire world. “The assembly of Sindh does not have the legal and constitutional right to overturn any decree, but it will become the voice of the people and try where it can,” he emphasised.
“In the National Assembly and the Senate, opposition members have been fighting this issue on an ongoing basis […] and every such effort like this will fail.”
Speaking of the scarcity of natural gas in Sindh and Balochistan, Bilawal said the question would be posed with regard to the first right of use of the gas provided by Sindh and Balochistan. He said the two provinces had, as they created the most, a contractual right to gas.
Bilawal claimed that misinformation was being conducted through the media to sow discord in the PDM in which some ministers were involved, in relation to Rashid’s remarks yesterday on the PDM and PPP. He appealed to the media not to assign those elements space.
He said “Imran Khan addressing empty chairs as a revolution” had been depicted by the media but was now intentionally campaigning on behalf of “undemocratic forces” against the PDM.
A political movement for a “real, organic and national representative government” is managed by the PDM, Bilawal stressed.
The employees of PDM [working together] with the citizens of Pakistan will meet this government and take this [government] marionette home.
He said that the PPP had never looked at anybody else, but instead believed in “the people’s power”