NAUNDERO: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a ceremony held to mark the death anniversary of PPP  founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on Sunday.—PPI
NAUNDERO: PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a ceremony held to mark the death anniversary of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on Sunday.—PPI

LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has announced that the PPP is prepared to fight against the ‘selected’ government even if it would have to do opposition without the support of some other parties.

“PPP is not only ready to do opposition along with other parties but is also prepared to fight alone, as the party is sure that the ‘selected’ government will be sent packing,” vowed Mr Bhutto-Zardari while addressing a gathering at Naudero House on the 42nd death anniversary of former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on Sunday.

The PPP chairman also announced that on the insistence [of some Pakistan Democratic Movement members] the party at its central executive committee meeting would discuss the issue of en masse resignations from assemblies. “We will hold the government accountable for price hike, unemployment, for usurping your [people’s] economic, democratic and constitutional rights. We will also make them answerable for the PTI-IMF deal.”

While dubbing the IMF deal as economic and political robbery, the PPP chairman said each province and every individual was facing unprecedented hardships, because of Imran Khan’s policies. During these challenging times, it had become the duty of his party to fight for people’s rights, he said, adding that the PPP had never compromised on the rights of the masses whether it had to bear losses in its struggle for a major cause.

He vowed to continue the struggle initiated by the party founder for political, economic and constitutional rights of people to ensure freedom of expression. “We want the economic liberty, which is the right of every Pakistani,” he said, claiming his party had given rights to the people more than any other government had ever ensured.

He said Mr Bhutto had not only promised but also fulfilled his commitment for economic stability. He said the PPP founder had established Pakistan Steel Mills, but the PTI government policy to privatise Pakistan Steel had rendered thousands of its employees jobless. It was quite unfortunate that the “inept, inefficient and selected” prime minister had been imposed upon the people, as the country had witnessed unprecedented economic damages in past three years.

The PPP chairman said Mr Khan had backed out from his commitment of providing 10 million jobs and five million houses to the people and pushed the country into historical unemployment. He said people had become jobless during PTI’s government and asked the audience if they knew any single person who had been provided job by the PTI government.

Recalling the slogan of ‘Benazir aaegy rozgar laegy’, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said other political parties were only attempting to steal this slogan instead of generating employment to benefit people at the grassroots level.

He said it seemed the purpose of putting in place the ‘puppet government’ was to do away with the welfare programmes initiated by the PPP founder and his daughter during their governments.

He praised party workers, activists, supporters, office-bearers and lawmakers who stood unshaken against all forces while following Bhutto’s philosophy and manifesto. He appreciated the efforts of Sindh government and its health department to fight coronavirus and appealed to the people to follow the related guidelines.

Also, a Quran Khawani marking the 42nd death anniversary of Mr Bhutto was held at Naudero House. Besides the party chairman and his aunt Faryal Talpur, Sindh PPP president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and his cabinet members and others prayed for the departed soul. Mr Bhutto-Zardari also visited Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto and laid floral wreath on the grave of his grandfather before offering fateha. He also placed wreaths on the graves of other slain members of the Bhutto family.

A similar programme was arranged by the PPP-Shaheed Bhutto at Al-Murtaza House to mark the 42nd death anniversary of the PPP founder.

Recalling his struggle, sacrifices and achievements, PPP-SB leaders said he was implicated in a false case and sent to gallows. They said even after 42 years, he still ruled hearts of the people. The conspirators thought that Bhuttoism would be finished with his death but with every passing day it was getting popular, they said. After the execution of Mr Bhutto his sons and daughter, too, were assassinated one after another, they added.

They said people had been trapped in the conditions where they could hardly survive under the burden of heavy taxes, spiral of inflation, electricity, gas and oil crises. The Bhutto’s philosophy contained the answers to the economic issues, they said.

They demanded jobs on merit, end to demolition of houses in the name of anti-encroachment operations, harassment by law enforcement agencies and criticised the attempts by the government to sell Sindh’s islands, forests and mountains. They also called for opening procurement centres immediately after fixing rates of rice and cotton as well.

They were of the opinion that the issue of missing persons should be constitutionally dealt. They demanded restoration of students unions and trade unions and criticised character assassination of famous Sindhi writer Amar Jalil.

Syed Saleem Shah from KPK, Abdul Majeed Siyal, Zubair Jatoi, Qazi Mumtaz, Ms Feroza Lashari, Ghulam Rasool Umrani and others also spoke on the occasion.

Later, PPP(SB) leaders and workers visited Garhi Khuda Bakhsh Bhutto where they laid floral wreaths on the graves and offered fateha.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2021

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