LAHORE/SAHIWAL: The Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has condemned the Peshawar blast, blaming the government for not implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) to check terrorism in the country and accusing it of failing to establish the writ of state by surrendering before terrorists.

Addressing the participants of the party’s long march at Chichawatni’s Rai Chowk in Sahiwal district, he said the incidence of terrorism had increased in the country as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government lacked the capacity to face the menace.

“Why the blood of the masses is cheap and terrorists are roaming free in the country, while no action was being taken against them,” the PPP chairman asked the government.

Earlier, when the march entered Sahiwal district, a large number of PPP workers led by party’s Punjab President Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and district head Chaudhry Zaki received the chairman near Kasowal on Khanewal-Lahore highway.

Alleges PTI govt has soft corner for terrorists

According to independent observers, it was being predicted that the after entering central Punjab the number of the participants of the long march would decrease, but the prediction proved wrong as neither the PPP supporters’ number, nor their enthusiasm declined as they entered Sahiwal district.

Bilawal said by participating in the long march massively the people had given “no confidence” verdict and now it’s time the parliament endorsed them by passing no-trust motion against “Imran Niazi”.

Bilawal said the party’s struggle was not for power, but ridding the masses of unemployment, severe economic crisis and price hike.

He said during Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari’s tenures the youth got employment and women were given a priority by the government.

He alleged that Imran Khan’s government snatched jobs from 10,000 workers of the Pakistan Steel Mills and 16,000 public sector employees. He claimed it was the PPP’s lawyers who got restored their jobs by filing petitions with the higher judiciary.

He said the health card and income support programmes were originally introduced by the PPP’s governments, but these schemes were “stolen by Imran Niazi”.

Addressing the farmers, Bilawal said whatever was grown on this land belonged to the people of Pakistan and not the feudal lords and hoarders.

He reiterated his demanded that the premier should resign, dissolve the assemblies and announce fresh elections that should be free, fair and transparent.

Although the traffic on the left track of the Lahore-Multan highway kept running, the commuters faced hardships while crossing the more than five-kilometre long procession led by Bilawal, Bhutto, Abdur Razaq, a resident of Gujranwala said.

In Sahiwal city, thousands of people had already gathered to welcome the march and listen Bilwal’s speech at the Pakpattan Chowk.

In his address, he again condemned Peshawar blast and said the PTI government had a soft corner for the terrorists.

He said the way central Punjab welcomed the long march, after Sindh and south Punjab, it was historic.

He said the “selected” PM had stolen the people’s mandate and the PPP diehard workers (jiyalays) knew who to snatch their rights from usurpers.

Earlier, at Khanewal, in his address to the participants, Bilawal said if Imran Khan did not dissolve the assemblies in five days and announce the election, which was his only option, the marchers would themselves remove him from the office.

He said this “selected” PM Imran Khan thought he would frighten politicians and media through NAB and PECA ordinance, but he was wrong because the PPP workers were hardened as they had stood against dictators like Zia and Musharraf.

Addressing Imran Khan, he said: “You are only a puppet, how can you threaten us.”

Accusing the PTI government of murdering the farmers financially, he said the PPP march would hold Imran Khan “accountable for his crime”.

Bilawal said Imran was a coward and would flee to London after his ouster, but the party would live among the people.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2022

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