If establishment stays neutral, Imran can’t survive no-trust move: Bilawal

Published February 27, 2022
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a press conference in Karachi on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a press conference in Karachi on Saturday. — DawnNewsTV

KARACHI: Sounding confident and determined about the renewed campaign of the opposition parties against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan could not survive the vote of no confidence in the government, if the establishment chose to stay neutral.

He asked him to step down to avoid the public anger and defeat in the parliament.

However, responding to a question after his press conference at Bilawal House, he appeared a bit sceptical about the role of the establishment amid the emerging political developments referring to the history of the country which didn’t suggest ‘very good’ prospects on these lines.

The PPP chairman made it clear that whatever the results of the opposition’s no trust motion, his party would continue its struggle.

“The PPP believes in politics of issues, without caring about others’ role and viewpoint,” he said when asked about the upcoming expected role of the establishment which was often blamed by the opposition parties for siding with the PTI government despite its ‘poor’ performance.

Read more: Opposition ‘pressure’ forces PM Imran to reach out to Jahangir Tareen

“We are very much hopeful that the establishment would remain neutral. And if the establishment stays neutral, Imran Khan is not going to win this no-trust move. The opposition must struggle for a one point agenda — get rid of Imran Khan. And for that purpose we should be on one page and have a joint strategy.”

Replying to a question regarding his assessment about the establishment and any change in its strategy, the PPP chairman did not share any definite thoughts, but expressed his hopes which he had pinned on the powerful institutions for staying impartial amid “deteriorating economy, failure on foreign front and fast declining social and cultural norms”.

“Unfortunately history is not good when it comes to the role of the establishment,” he said.

“But the current situation being faced by Pakistan encourages us to hope that this time every institution would stay within its constitutional ambit and leave politics for politicians. From economy to foreign affairs and social sector, the country is facing a host of challenges and crises. In this situation, we hope the establishment would not support anyone out of the way.”

Long March’

He said the ‘Long March’ of the party, which was starting on Sunday from Mazar-i-Quaid to Islamabad, would not only mobilise the people of Pakistan, but would also rekindle the hope that their problems, grinding poverty and fast collapsing pillars of democratic system could be saved by unity.

He insisted that the solution to all problems now lied in fresh and fair elections.

“So I demand Imran Khan to step down if he wants to avoid people’s anger and defeat in the parliament [vote of no confidence],” said Mr Bhutto-Zardari.

“It’s now in national interest that he’s detached from power. The people of Pakistan and all the opposition parties would have to unite on one point agenda — removal of Imran Khan and fresh elections. The more he remains in power, the more the country would suffer.”

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2022

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