LARKANA: Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, said on Monday that the “selected” alliance had been installed in government only to attack the Constitution, trample upon the people’s economic rights and rollback the Benazir Income Support Programme.

Addressing a gathering of the Peoples Lawyers Forum and notables here, he alleged that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Grand Democratic Alliance had for the last one year been attacking democracy, human rights and democratic rights of the people.

“Is media free today and [do] courts deliver justice?” he said. Citing the cases of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s reference, still pending in the Supreme Court, and Benazir Bhutto’s assassination case, he asked if justice had been done in those cases.

He said the “selected” government had always been anti-people and worked to please the “selectors” only. He said to form an awami government, “we will have to send the PTI and its selectors packing”, as they had tabled an anti-people budget which the PPP had opposed where peasants’ subsidy was cut, no increase in pensions was made in the document. The skyrocketing prices of commodities and heavy taxes had overburdened the poor, he said, adding that the PTI government had given no economic policy to address economic issues of the people. He claimed that the PPP was the only party that could frame pro-people economic policies. He said the PPP had formulated people-friendly economic policies and cited the example of the BISP.

‘We will have to send the PTI packing’

He alleged that the PTI-led government was out to grab the rights of the provinces, seize their natural resources and was even trying to capture Sindh’s capital. He said the PPP was the only party that had opposed it. “It is our responsibility to protect the 1973 Constitution, human rights, democratic rights and economic rights of the people,” he said.

The PPP chairman said the religious parties and traders were protesting while youth were fired from different departments and the media.

He said the PPP’s struggle was not restricted only to winning a by-election on PS-17, as he had given a schedule to kick off a struggle to convey the message to the people by holding a protest in Karachi on Oct 18. The journey would be from Karachi to Kashmir through Tharparkar and Punjab against what he called the undemocratic government, soaring prices, swelling energy bills as they had made people’s lives miserable.

Turning to the by-election in Larkana, he said the “jiyalas” would stand against rigging by what he called puppet alliance and asked them to remain there till the counting. He said the people from Larkana would send a message to the PTI rulers that they were not with the “puppet” government and were against any compromise.

He called Jamil Soomro, his political secretary contesting the by-election on PS-11, as his direct representative and added that “jointly we will resolve the issues”.

Nisar Khuhro, president of the PPP’s Sindh chapter, former Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and others also spoke.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2019



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