Democracy, elections in Pakistan stalled for return of one person: Bilawal

Published October 18, 2023
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a rally in Karachi on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a rally in Karachi on Wednesday. — DawnNewsTV

In an apparent reference to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday said Pakistan’s Constitution, democracy and elections have been stalled “for the return of one person”.

Nawaz left for London in the middle of his seven-year jail term in the Al-Azizia corruption case on “medical grounds” in 2019 after the Lahore High Court granted him bail for four weeks. Over these four years, he was declared a proclaimed offender in Al-Azizia and Avenfield graft cases for his continuous absence from the proceedings.

The elder Sharif is currently staying in Saudi Arabia and is scheduled to return to the country via Dubai on October 21. According to the PML-N, Nawaz will address a public gathering at Minar-i-Pakistan upon his arrival.

Addressing a gathering in Karachi today, Bilawal, without naming Nawaz, said: “The 16-month tenure of the previous government has shown that the country cannot be run from London, and it is imperative for everyone to be physically present among the people and be accountable to them.”

“As far as this return is concerned, it is better late than never,” he added.

Bilawal demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan should promptly announce the election date.

“If the PPP has to swallow the bitter pill of a delay in elections beyond the 90-day period, then we hope that all democratic parties will stand behind the PPP’s demand for an immediate announcement of the election schedule,” Bilawal said.

The delay in elections, he went on to say, was “not a show of respect for the vote but rather a disrespect for it.”

The PPP chairman further emphasised the need for everyone to contribute to Pakistan’s development and denounced “politics of hatred”.

“People have lost interest in your politics,” he claimed, adding that the only way to solve Pakistan’s problem was unity among the people.

Bilawal added that the PPP would initiate a nationwide electoral campaign with the sole objective of advocating for an election date and allowing the people to decide who to vote for.

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