ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has asked the party workers to prepare themselves and be ready to receive a call from him for launching an agitation movement against the government.
Addressing a meeting of senior party leaders from different cities through video link on Wednesday, the PPP chairman directed the party workers to observe social distancing for not only combating coronavirus, but also as a “rehearsal” for the movement against the government for which he would give a call at an “appropriate time”.
“Let there be no mistake that political movements cannot be launched because of corona. Our workers will show to the world how to launch political movements even while observing precautions against the pandemic,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari was quoted to have stated at the meeting.
“The PPP chairman will soon issue a recorded message on the social media to the party workers in this regard,” said an official announcement issued by the PPP media office here in Islamabad.
During the online party meeting, which was presided over by Mr Bhutto-Zardari from Karachi, the PPP leadership discussed current political situation, enforced disappearances, the situation in the tribal areas and the holding of the proposed multi-party conference of the opposition parties and strategies.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari said with Imran Khan as the prime minister the country would go from crisis to crisis and its very stability was at stake. “Indeed, the two cannot go together any longer. It is imperative that the selected prime minister sees the writing on the wall and himself quits,” he said.
“One by one state institutions have been destroyed and there is total crisis of credibility of the government both within the country and abroad,” he said, adding that “the monumental corruption of the selected regime has crossed all limits”.
The PPP chairman said, “while the BRT project stands out as a symbol of corruption, the contractors are doled out more contracts”.
Criticising the government’s performance, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said the rulers had ruined the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
“A future historian will record that the country was once ruled by a selected prime minister whose chief contribution to statecraft has been witchcraft and corruption. While he advertised himself as Mr Clean the selected prime minister thrived on the corruption of his henchmen,” the PPP chairman said.
“The selected prime minister’s ATM Abraaj Group and K-Electric are sucking the blood of the people of Karachi while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) looks the other way,” he said.
The young PPP chairman recalled that at one time NAB had announced that it was preparing a reference in the Peshawar BRT case but for some unexplained reasons the NAB chairman was now silent on the matter.
“Whether it is the sugar and flour crisis, Malam Jabba, the billion tree farce, the foreign funding case or the oil pricing problem, corruption of the regime floats on the surface of record for everyone to see,” he said. He mentioned that the auditor general of Pakistan had documented “corruption and irregularities” worth Rs270 billion in the first year in power of “the selected prime minister”.
He said that when he was in the opposition Mr Khan had denounced all amnesty schemes, but now as the prime minister he had announced amnesty schemes to benefit his cronies. “When it comes to fighting the history’s fiercest locust attack, the selected prime minister refused to provide the needed support to the Sindh government in contravention of the federal responsibility,” he alleged.
The PPP chairman said it was a matter of record that Pakistan’s growth was never negative even during the worst crisis of 1971 when the country was dismembered. “Today because of the incompetence and corruption of the regime, Pakistan is faced with negative growth. People have been thrown out of jobs, unemployment is increasing by the day and people are committing economic suicides,” he said.
The PPP chairman condemned enforced disappearances in the country and recalled that before coming into power Mr Khan had declared that legislation would be made within a month to address the issue. But two years down the line citizens who disagree with the state narrative continue to disappear with impunity, he said.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2020