Bilawal says PPP ‘exploring legal response’ over Imran’s allegation against Zardari

Published January 28, 2023
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nayyar Bukhari and Farhatullah Babar in a media talk on Saturday.—Screengrab from live stream on PPP Media Cell
PPP leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nayyar Bukhari and Farhatullah Babar in a media talk on Saturday.—Screengrab from live stream on PPP Media Cell

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said his party was “exploring legal response” to allegations made by PTI Chairman Imran Khan a day ago that PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari was plotting a “Plan C” with the aid of a terrorist outfit to assassinate Imran.

In an explosive claim in a televised address on Friday, Imran said: “Now they have made a plan C and Zardari is behind it. He has unlimited corrupt money […] the money he loots from the Sindh government is used in elections, to buy MPAs […] whether it is the elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Gilgit-Baltistan, he recklessly throws money around.

“He has given this money to a terror outfit. His facilitators are powerful people in the agencies. The decision has been taken from three sides and they have planned to execute the next crime,” Imran had claimed.

In a series of tweets today, Bilawal said, “We [PPP] are exploring legal response to Imran’s latest defamatory & dangerous accusations. In the past, he threatened my father that he was ‘in the crosshairs of his gun’.”

The foreign minister said that the “false accusations” increased “threats to my father, my family and my part”. “We take them seriously given our history”.

He also highlighted the fact that he and his party were called out by name in a recent threat letter by a terrorist outfit.

Bilawal alleged Imran had “released terrorists and arrested democrats” during his tenure, had handed over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to terrorist organisations, and that the PTI still “funds terrorist groups”.

Noting that Imran and his associates’ “history as both sympathisers and facilitators of terrorists” was well-documented, he asserted that all of it would be taken into account if any attack were to take place on him, Zardari, or his party.

The foreign minister castigated the former premier for exposing him and his party to “an increased threat” by making an accusation that “defies logic”.

Vowing to challenge Imran, he asserted, “We cannot let populist fiction dominate our discourse, poison our politics and damage our democracy. We will not tolerate being victims of terrorists and putting up with propaganda from their political frontmen.”

PPP leaders announce plans to sue Imran

Earlier today, PPP senior leaders Nayyar Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar and Qamar Zaman Kaira criticised Imran over his allegations, saying he had “lost his mind” and that they would issue a legal notice demanding him to retract his accusations.

Bukhari said the PPP’s stance is that the allegation made by Imran is “baseless and a lie”. He remarked, “Imran Khan has politically died […] He is afflicted with depression and panic.”

The former Senate chairman said: “In this panic, he keeps on blaming various institutions — whether it is the establishment, the election commission or the former army chief.

“His allegations are never based in reality. If they were, he surely would’ve approached the available forums according to the Constitution and the law but he never went there.”

Bukhari asserted: “In fact, the People’s Party is [ideologically] opposed to physical elimination [as] PPP itself has been its target.”

He then announced that the party would be issuing Imran Khan a legal notice and in it, “we are demanding that he withdraw his statement”. “If he doesn’t, the PPP has the right to approach the forums and courts for civil and criminal proceedings.”

Sitting beside Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar said: “He has said that Zardari sahab has reached an understanding with a terrorist outfit to end Imran Khan. Imran Khan should ask himself — would his enemies hire militants to kill him even though he himself is Taliban Khan.”

He added: “A person, who himself is a patron of militants, is saying a plot to end him has been made by hiring militants tells itself what his mental level is.”

The former senator asserted: “I genuinely believe that Imran Khan has now lost [his] senses, and he’s out of his senses because of the loss of power.”

Citing Imran’s decision to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies that were under his party, he said: “If you have lost your mental balance, then it is not the PPP’s or Asif Zardari sahab’s fault.”

Additionally, Kaira said, “We are demanding here today that the nation, the media, the whole civil society should demand Imran Khan to bring forward what information and evidence he has [as] he has made a specific allegation and not said that it is a hearsay”.

He claimed Imran’s politics was “not democratical but fascist”. “Putting his opponents in jail, making allegations, doing character assassination, stirring up mayhem and spreading sensationalism at specific moments […] are weapons of fascism.”

The PPP leader remarked: “Whenever Imran Khan is in a difficult situation and in depression, he tries to get out of that phase by putting [the blame of] his failures on his opponents, spreading sensationalism and attacking institutions.”

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