KARACHI: A day after a resolution was submitted in the Punjab Assembly demanding that the government register a treason case against Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for his alleged “anti-Pakistan statement”, the PPP chairman questioned whether those who refused to follow “scripted narratives” would be declared traitors.

The PPP chairman in a recent press conference, after appearing before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had questioned the government’s policy on banned outfits and had demanded the removal of a trio of ministers from the federal cabinet, whom he accused of having “long-held ties” with members of proscribed organisations.

On Thursday, in his resolution PTI MPA Mussarat Jamshed Cheema said that Mr Bhutto-Zardari’s statement about the government’s action against proscribed organisations as “protective cover” was no less than treason as it reflected the Indian narrative.

PPP chairman takes to Twitter to denounce his detractors

Responding to the criticism, the PPP chairman in a strongly worded tweet on Friday said: “WTH [what the hell] is a narrative? Is life now a fascist screenplay where if u [you] don’t follow a script u r declared traitor? Screw u and ur [your] narrative. I have an ideology. My ideology doesn’t change. Ur narrative will keep changing. Read, think, speak & ignore fascist trolls who run this country.”

On Wednesday, the PPP chairman had said that the NAB formed a JIT against him for being a minor shareholder of a company and spending money on breakfast.

“Why a JIT has not been made against leaders of banned outfits including Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s Ahsanullah Ahsan, why is there no JIT on terror financing and why is there no JIT on ‘benami prime minister’ and election rigging?” he had questioned.

Later in the evening, the PPP chairman issued a statement related to Pakistan Day.

“Proud nations build strong narrative encompassing their national interests and the welfare of the people instead of toeing individual’s doctrines, which are eventually evaporated and shattered by changes in the international and regional situations,” a statement quoted the PPP chairman as saying.

“Pakistan Day reminds us of our utmost responsibility to follow the footprints of the founders for establishment of a democratic society with peace, justice and protection of human rights as hallmarks of the system,” he said.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that extremism and terrorism had bruised the whole nation and were still posing serious threats, which needed strong will to deal with as cosmetic and ad hoc policies on the issues had always backfired.

“As the true torchbearer of the ideology of Pakistan together with essence of Pakistan Resolution passed eight decades ago, the party will continue to fight against all odds, injustices and victimisation to achieve the dreams of the founder of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Pakistan,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2019