PESHAWAR: Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi of the Pakistan Peoples Party has expressed his surprise over the government’s decision of acquiring 300 luxury vehicles for the protocol of a Saudi delegation arriving in the country for two-day visit on Sunday. He asked the government to explain as to why the costly vehicles of the Prime Minister House were auctioned if it was in need for the same.
Speaking at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday, the senator claimed that his party’s founder and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had the credit of establishing cordial relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. That relationship was still intact, he added.
Mr Tangi was flanked by former provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi and Jehanzeb Khan.
He claimed that the coming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was a routine one and that he was not only visiting Pakistan, but also other countries. Therefore, he added, Prime Minister Imran Khan should not try to get credit of the crown prince’s visit.
He hoped that the coming visit of the Saudi crown prince would bring prosperity in the country.
Mr Tangi said the PPP leadership had opposed the auction of PM House’s vehicles, but the government did not pay attention to his party’s suggestions. He said the government should disclose the amount being spent for hiring the luxury vehicles and compare it with revenues obtained from the sale of PM House’s vehicles.
He said despite being victimised by the government in the garb of actions against corruption, the PPP leadership believed in strong democratic institutions. He accused the federal government of influencing the National Accountability Bureau to victimise PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari.
The senator criticised the federal government for “attempting to remove” the picture of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto from the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) logo. He warned that his party workers would take to the streets if such a step was taken.
He said that the PPP would appreciate if the government initiates public welfare schemes in the country.
The PPP leader said that Mr Khan had become prime minister, but he had so far not changed his attitude and it seemed as if he was still speaking from a container in a protest rally.
He claimed that 70 per cent local investors had shifted their businesses abroad due to the poor economic policy of the government. He said the prime minister was trying to dub all of his opponents as corrupt which had created a bad tradition in the country.
The PPP, he said, would not support any move to topple the government despite the fact that it was completely a confused regime which was unable to run the country’s affairs.
The senator demanded of the government to make public conditions under which the government was making deals with foreign countries and international institutions, including China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the International Monetary Fund, so that the nation could know the policy of the government.
When asked about the murder of three labourers from Bajaur in Larkana, Mr Tangi said PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had strongly condemned the killings and ordered the Sindh government to arrest the killers.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019