BATKHELA: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has rejected ban on election-related activities of his party by the provincial caretaker government, saying as citizens of the country running election campaign is their constitutional right.
He was addressing a press conference at the residence of PPP provincial chief Humayan Khan in Jolagram here on Sunday on the second day of his two-day visit to Malakand division.
Bilawal said that Malakand rally was postponed as mark of solidarity with people of Balochistan after the Mustang blast that killed 132 people. He said that despite postponement of the rally, he visited the area. He said thanked the people of Malakand for welcoming him warmly.
Hopes polls will be held according to schedule
He was accompanied by former senator Farhatullah Babar, Humayun Khan, former MPAs Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha, Sartaj Dawrankhel, Dina Naz and district nazim Syed Ahmed Ali Shah Bacha.
Expressing concerns over the growing incidents of terrorism in the country, Bilawal said that only PPP could create atmosphere in the parliament for taking action against terrorism. He said that PPP from the day first was insisting on implementation of National Action Plan (NAP). He said that the PPP government prepared an economic plan for the affected areas to cope with militancy.
He said that the previous PML-N government failed to enforce the plan during the last five years. He stressed the need for focusing on the progress and prosperity of the people of Malakand and tribal districts. He said that under 18th Amendment, rights should be given to smaller provinces.
Bilawal said that during enforcement of Fata reforms, PPP had written a letter to the prime minister to ask him to exempt people of Malakand from taxes for five years. He said that provision of gas, electricity and water etc to the backward areas were his top priorities.
He said that economic stability was the achievement of PPP. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto laid foundation of economic stability and development while Benazir Bhutto struggled to fulfil that mission, he added.
The PPP chairman said that Asif Ali Zardari had taken measure for the progress of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and gave identity to Pakhtun by renaming the province. He said that terrorists wanted to highjack freedom and democracy but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs. Bilawal said that PPP wanted fair and transparent elections on time. He said that he hoped that elections would be held according to the schedule.
The PPP chairman said that some political parties expressed reservations over partiality of the caretaker government. He said that PPP had submitted a motion in that regard and it would be discussed in Senate.
Bilawal said that PPP would take up the issue of ban on its election campaign in the party meeting. “We will devise a strategy after checking that the reports are true or not. If there is any such order by the government, it is not acceptable to us,” he said. He alleged that he was stopped in Multan and Ouch as some hidden hands wanted to keep PPP away from election campaign.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2018