GHALANAI: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto- Zardari has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government is snatching economic, democratic and human rights from people in the name of tabdeeli (change) in the country.
Speaking at a public gathering in the Ekkaghund area of tehsil Shabqadar in Charsadda district on Thursday, he said the PTI during its six-year rule in Khyber Paktunkhwa had failed to execute any development project or establish a single university.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari had planned to hold public meetings in Bajaur and Mohmand tribal districts, but the administrations of these districts refused to give him permission on the grounds that his was a parliamentarian and his public meetings in the merged tribal districts would be a violation of the election code of conduct. Therefore, the PPP’s Mohmand chapter organised the public meeting in Ekkaghund, an area near Mohmand tribal district.
‘Anti-people budget’ opposed as it has led to rise in prices of essential commodities
Mr Bhutto-Zardari urged the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct free and fair elections in the tribal districts and warned that otherwise the PPP would not accept the results.
He said one could see ‘‘two new Pakistans’’ as an offshore company of Nawaz Sharif was forbidden but that of (Prime Minister) Imran Khan was lawful. “Similarly, foreign accounts of Asif Zardari are forbidden but those of Imran Khan are lawful. Narcotics are forbidden for Rana Sanaullah but lawful for the prime minster.”
He also criticised the PTI government for presenting the “anti-people budget in which prices of food items, including sugar, ghee and flour, have been increased”.
He said two MNAs from a tribal district, Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, were not brought to parliament to take part in voting on the budget and, therefore, “they passed the budget without counting [votes]”.
He said thousands of people belonging to different areas of the country, including Balochistan and tribal districts, were missing and their relatives were in trouble.
He said TV channels had broadcast live interviews of militants and even those of an Indian pilot and an Indian spy, but they could not air an interview of a former president of Pakistan.
He said the PPP would defend democratic, human and economic rights of the people.
He said the prime minister wanted to introduce the presidential system and ‘One Unit’ system in the country, but “we will not allow him to do so”.
He said that the PTI government was scared of holding free and fair elections in some tribal districts and, therefore, it had imposed Section 144 there.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari also accused the PTI government of making state institutions controversial.
He said that in the 2018 general elections, results were delayed through RTS which was rigging.
He said CNICs of most of the tribesmen had been blocked which was injustice with them.
He said the PPP’s history was full of sacrifices and its leaders and workers had laid down their lives for democracy on various occasions.
He claimed that the previous PPP government had given all rights to the tribal people and allocated a huge budget for the tribal areas’ development.
“The Zardari government had increased pension by 100 per cent and raised salaries of soldiers by 70pc. Such an increase has not been made by any civil or military government in the history of Pakistan,” he added.
He said Zulifikar Ali Bhutto’s government had established industries, hospitals and colleges in various parts of the tribal belt to facilitate poor tribesmen. “The PPP also gave the tribesmen facilities of free computeried national identity card and passport and employment in foreign countries,” he said. The PPP government had built an airport in Parachinar, he added.
Prominent among those who attended the public gathering were PPP provincial president Hamayun Khan, PPP parliamentary leader in KP Assembly Nighat Orakzai and Arshad Bakhtiar and Israel Khan, the party’s candidates for PK-103 and PK-104, respectively.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2019