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Bilawal ‘wakes up to’ four demands

Updated March 12, 2017


LAHORE: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has announced resumption of his party’s drive for acceptance of its four demands after a break of about three months. But the major hurdle, he believes, it faces is non-availability of security in Punjab.

“The Shahbaz Sharif administration should reciprocate the Sindh’s government gesture of providing ‘fool-proof’ security to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s public meeting at Thatta the other day,” said the young leader, who is in Lahore in connection with the re-organisation of the party.

He directed the party men at the Bilawal House in Bahria Town here on Saturday to gear up public meetings and rallies across the province to pressurise the PML-N government to accept its four demands.

Says non-availability of security impedes party activities in Punjab

The demands are passage of the opposition’s bill seeking investigation into the Panamagate issue, appointment of a full-fledged foreign minister, formation of a parliamentary committee on national security and implementation of the resolution passed by a multi-party conference on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) held in May last year.

Censuring the PML-N government for not providing security to its activities in Punjab, he said the party would hold rallies in Punjab and a new date for the Multan rally would be announced soon.

Bilawal had cancelled the March 10 rally in Multan citing non-availability of security by the Punjab government.

The PPP’s much-hyped campaign which was kicked off on the occasion of Benazir Bhutto’s 9th death anniversary on Dec 27 had lost steam after the party’s Lahore-Faisalabad rally on Jan 19. Bilawal had left for the United States and in his absence there was no follow-up of the campaign. The PML-N government is hardly bothered about the PPP’s demands considering them as ‘non-serious’.

A party leader told Dawn that Mr Bhutto-Zardari should launch a fresh campaign based on some other issues as well instead of sticking to ‘old’ demands.

“Had there been no long break in that drive the party might have gained enough politically especially in Punjab,” he said, adding a consistent policy from the party leadership was required to re-establish itself in the province before the 2018 election.

According to PPP Information Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor, the chairman held interviews for different party slots in Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan, Sheikhupura and Nankana Sahib.

“The chairman will announce the names of the president and other office-bearers of these five districts, Lahore and Kasur after completing the interviews next week,” he said.

PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira claimed that Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan did not have any threat from terrorists. “It is our leadership that is facing threat, therefore, PPP’s rallies should be provided with security,” he said.

Kaira also regretted that the PML-N did not take action against its MNA Javed Latif for using indecent remarks about women.

Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2017