ISLAMABAD: Reacting sharply to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks about U-turns, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday challenged the former to face him in the parliament.
“If he [PM] wants to respond to my National Assembly speech he should do so in the parliament to my face. Cowards talk behind people’s back,” the PPP chief said in a tweet.
He said Prime Minister Khan did not have the courage to vehemently criticise Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and proscribed organisations in the country, whereas he [PM] always criticised the opposition in strong words. “I wish our prime minister work up the courage to respond to Modi or talk against the banned organisations with the same tone he frequently criticises opposition,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari tweeted.
In his address to a public meeting in Chhachhro town of Thar on Friday, Prime Minister Khan said the PPP chairman didn’t know the exact meaning of a U-turn and that why sagacious leaders took it. “Mr Bilawal if you had struggled hard, you would have definitely known that why a leader takes a U-turn,” he said.
Mr Khan said that had Mr Bhutto-Zardari and his father Asif Ali Zardari known the meaning of U-turn, they would not have plunged into the problems they were facing, adding that it was the right time for Mr Zardari to take a U-turn from corruption and avoid cases he was facing in the courts.
Meanwhile, PPP secretary general Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said the tone of Niazi [PM] and company was conveying that the address of Mr Bhutto-Zardari in the National Assembly was troubling them. He said the PPP chairman had attached Bhutto’s name with his name because “Bhutto” symbolised resistance against the powers that conspired against democracy.
Mr Bukhari said Imran Khan had no clue about struggle and he had risen to this level in politics by conspiracies and flattery. “On the other hand, Bilawal Bhutto got his political training by his great mother [Benazir Bhutto],” he added.
“Imran Khan was nurtured by General Hameed Gul and General Pasha. It is unfortunate that an irresponsible person like Imran Khan is occupying the coveted position of prime minister,” he said.
In a separate statement, PPP deputy president Senator Sherry Rehman said Bilawal was the political heir of former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. “Bilawal is son of a father who restored 1973 Constitution in its original form, empowered parliament, awarded provincial autonomy and gave identity to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” she added.
Ms Rehman said the PPP chairman had always condemned terrorism and extremism and never took a U-turn. “The habit of taking a U-turn is associated with Imran Khan and his associates,” she added.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2019