BANNU: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that the PPP would not allow rolling back of the 18th Constitution Amendment and changes in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award.
Speaking at a public meeting on Saturday, he said the PPP would expose the elements that were attacking the federation and provincial autonomy.
He criticised the adviser to the prime minister on finance for a statement in which he said that financial powers delegated to the provinces under the 18th Amendment should go back to the Centre.
“Conspiracies are being hatched for the last five years to deprive the provinces of financial powers and transfer them back to the Centre,” he said, adding that the PPP would not allow anyone to do so.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was designed to benefit areas most affected by terrorism and poverty. Unfortunately, he regretted, CPEC [benefits] were seen only in Lahore as nothing had been done in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
He alleged that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had received his share from CPEC by constructing an interchange for his hometown, but he did nothing for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Similarly, Imran Khan compromised on KP’s interest by getting an interchange for Mianwali, he further alleged.
The PPP chairman said that the party believed in equitable distribution of national resources. He alleged that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had opposed the 18th Amendment and was reluctant to give identity to Pakhtuns by changing the name of the province.
He said that terrorism could be eliminated through the rule of law and safeguarding human rights in the country, adding that in the presence of targeted killing, terrorism could not be eliminated. “It is not a problem of Naqeebullah shaheed or a single target killer. The country needs a judicial system that can provide justice and requires a police force that the people trust,” said Mr Bhutto-Zardari.
He said that PPP supported the Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ (Fata) merger with KP and would protect the fundamental rights of tribal people. He criticised Maulana Rehman for opposing the Fata-KP merger plan.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari was optimistic that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would reject the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the coming elections. He alleged that Imran Khan had deceived the people of KP in the name of change and could not establish a single new hospital or public sector university in the province.
Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2018