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MURREE: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses the public gathering on Sunday.—Chaudhry Ishaque / White Star
MURREE: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses the public gathering on Sunday.—Chaudhry Ishaque / White Star

MURREE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday said that for Pakistan Muslim League supreme leader Nawaz Sharif democracy meant only his own victory, otherwise democracy was in danger

The Sharifs’ rule (over the country) not democracy was in danger and they (the Sharifs) would land in jails soon, he said while addressing a public gathering in Kotli Sattiyan, in the constituency of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

“Mr Sharif is a conspirator not a revolutionary. He had remained a “toy” of the dictator Ziaul Haq and knows how the keys of toys are used, the PPP leader said.

He said Mr Sharif had challenged them to stop him and they did stop him. Elaborating, he said Mr Sharif had thrown a challenge if they could stop him in the election for the office of Senate chairman. “We accepted the challenge and defeated them.”

Says Nawaz doesn’t respect vote as he rarely appeared in parliament when he was PM

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that Mr Sharif was aggrieved because the “opening batsman of dictator Zia” had been defeated in the Senate chairman elections.

He said Mr Sharif had proposed the name of the PPP’s Raza Rabbani for Senate chairmanship out of hypocrisy as he knew that he could not win the election.

Criticising the PML-N leader’s slogan of “Respect the vote”, he said when Mr Sharif was prime minister, he did not respect the vote as he seldom visited the parliament.

In the past, he said, the PML-N had indulged in horse-trading in Changa Manga violating the sanctity of the vote and took help from terrorists in previous elections against democratic forces.

Mr Sharif raised slogans when former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was dismissed by the Supreme Court, the PPP leader said.

He said Mr Sharif did not raise the slogan of “Respect the vote” when he was a political disciple of dictator Zia, when he was taking money from Usam bin Laden and the Inter-Services Intelligence and when he approached court against Asif Ali Zardari.

He said Mr Sharif was asking why he was ousted from power and the answer was because he had damaged the Pakistan International Airlines, the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and other state institutions for his personal gains.

Referring to a recent statement of Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail, he said the PSM land was owned by the Sindh government and the PPP would never allow its sale at throwaway price.

He also criticised the prime minister and said that the PIA was incurring huge losses while Air Blue owned by Mr Abbasi was gaining extraordinary routes and revenue. He termed Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan “Mr U-turn” and said earlier he had criticised Metro bus projects of Punjab but during the last year of his party’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it had launched a similar project, which was a contradiction of deeds and words.

Prominent among those who attended the public meeting were former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chouhdry Manzoor, Mehreen Anwar Raja, former president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Yaqoob and Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar.

It was the first ever public meeting of any top leader of the PPP in this remote and backward area. A large number of women also participated in the public meeting, which is an unprecedented phenomenon in the area.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2018