‘Beginning of the end’: No one can save govt now, says Bilawal
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari claimed on Thursday that the "beginning of the end" had started for the incumbent PTI-led government and it was "too late" for anyone to attempt to save the government now.
The PPP chairman was addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with Yousuf Raza Gilani, who won the hotly contested Senate general seat from Islamabad to defeat PTI's Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday.
"Now this puppet spectacle won't continue, now this drama won't continue, [Prime Minister] Imran Khan will have to correct his behaviour," said Bilawal, before adding that it was too late to do so. "It is well and truly the beginning of the end and now no one can save this government."
Bilawal said the entire "puppet" government had come out yesterday and the way they were making noise and creating drama in attempts to "cover their situation, is in front of you" — referring to the press conference of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi from Wednesday night when he, along with several other PTI leaders, announced the prime minister's intention to seek a vote of confidence in the National Assembly.
"As far as the PPP is concerned, we accepted [Prime Minister] Imran Khan's challenge that if we won these seats, then he would dissolve the assemblies, the National Assembly and announce new elections," said Bilawal.
Bilawal claimed the government was now running away from the challenge to dissolve the assemblies and that the announcement of the vote of confidence was a "new drama". According to Bilawal, the prime minister was a "coward and fears the elections because he fears the people".
The PPP chairman addressed the premier and said that at the very least, he should have submitted his resignation if he did not have the strength to announce new elections or dissolve the assemblies.
Bilawal said that Gilani's win over PTI's Shaikh had "shown the world" that the prime minister had lost the confidence of the National Assembly. "You have been rejected not only by the members of the opposition and the PDM but also by your own MNAs and allies' MNAs".
"Now you won't make these decisions, now the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) and I will tell you when and where the no-confidence motion will happen," he said, adding that the decision would be implemented through the PDM's consensus.
"We won't leave you [alone] or give you the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). You won't be able to run anywhere, we will follow you and we will confront you on the Senate chairman election and on every forum.
"Now the democratic forces smell blood and we won't leave you [alone]."
'Sitting with you but their hearts are with us'
Bilawal claimed that he knew about members of the government whose "hearts are with us", adding that he was also aware of the MNAs who had voted according to their conscience and in a grudge against PTI's Shaikh and the prime minister.
He also claimed to know which members of the government would be contesting the next elections on tickets of the PPP and PML-N.
"As far as who has given us vote [is concerned], I can't share any names or parties but I can tell you the numbers are very big — including those people who wanted to give votes [to us] but didn't.
"There will be an increase in this number and we will deliver the people's voice and problems to Imran Khan inside and outside the parliament."
He said this was happening because the premier had not lived up to his promises or done "a single thing" for the government's MNAs, leaving them "unable to show their faces" in their constituencies. "You claimed to give many jobs but gave not [a single] one," he told the Imran.
Bilawal further said it was "sad" that the prime minister didn't "trust his own MNAs". Responding to rumours of Imran knowing the names of people who allegedly took money, he challenged the premier to "expel every MNA from your party who you know has taken money and given vote against you by doing corruption".
"As far as talk of institutions is concerned, our struggle is not that one institution starts to favour one side [instead of] the other," said Bilawal, adding that the PPP's struggle was for institutions to stay and work within their constitutional limits.
"We are in no delusion that we will achieve this goal in one day but we know that in the end, we will win because we have to win. We have to prove that this system is the only way that Pakistan's state, economy and democracy can continue."