BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari speaks at the public meeting in Umerkot on Tuesday.—Dawn
BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari speaks at the public meeting in Umerkot on Tuesday.—Dawn

UMERKOT: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will have to answer the questions about alleged funding of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from India and Israel.

He was speaking at a public meeting organised here on Tuesday to celebrate the victory of PPP candidate Syed Ameer Ali Shah in Monday’s by-election for PS-52 Umerkot-II.

He pointed out that democratic forces of the country were protesting outside the ECP office today to seek its answer to the question being raised since 2014.

“To date, the ECP has not been able to give an answer,” he said, and asked the commission to explain why the matter had not been taken up over the years.

He insisted that the ECP should disqualify PTI chief Imran Khan. “If this was not done now, the people of Umerkot will march to Islamabad to forcibly oust him,” he said.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari recalled that that his mother and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had been labelled ‘security risk’ on certain allegations but now “those who have brought PTI into power by funding it from foreign countries must be exposed and the selected and sponsored PTI government must be disqualified”.

He thanked the people of Umerkot for using their right to vote for the “right person”.

He claimed that farmers and workers had lost their lives “in the tsunami of inflation”, and alleged that the person who had been raising a hue and cry over alleged corruption himself turned out to be a corrupt. “His entire party turned out to be corrupt,” he added.

The PPP chairman said that the people of Umerkot had sent a clear message to Islamabad by voting for PPP in the by-election and by rejecting the “selected one”.

He said that the people of Umerkot also adequately responded to the “political orphans the way they deserved as they were with [General Pervez] Musharraf yesterday and are with Imran Khan today”.

Paying homage to the late MPA, Syed Ali Mardan Shah, Bhutto-Zardari said that he had always stood by the PPP and supported the party leadership. He said he was sure that Syed Ameer Ali Shah, like his late father, would always support and help the people of Umerkot.

Earlier, speaking at the meeting, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that people of Umerkot had always rejected anti-democratic forces. “People need protection and PPP has always protected them,” he said, and added that under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, PPP would sweep by-elections in Sanghar, Tharparkar and Malir soon.

Minister for Culture Syed Sardar Ali Shah alleged that on the polling day, around “30,000 vandals” were brought to Umerkot to sabotage the election process.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2021

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