Bilawal tells Nawaz not to contest polls on ‘support’

Published December 3, 2023
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari holds a press conference in Quetta on Saturday. — PPP screengrab
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari holds a press conference in Quetta on Saturday. — PPP screengrab

QUETTA: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has called upon his political rival, Nawaz Sharif, to contest elections “on an ideology” and not with “the help of administration”.

In a press conference in Quetta on Saturday, when Mr Bhutto-Zardari was asked about the PML-N leader, he said, “Mian Sahib, respect the vote, don’t disrespect the vote.”

He said some people have “a misconception that political winds are in their favour”, adding that Raiwind is “attempting unsuccessfully to change the direction of the winds in its favour”.

“We [PPP] are trying to be the ladlas of the public. We believe people change the direction of winds. Everyone has to accept people’s mandate when they make a decision.”

Says PML-N, PTI indulging in ‘politics of hate’, calls for talks with Chaman protesters

Along with PML-N, he also fired salvos at PTI and said the two parties were out for the politics of revenge.

“If God forbid either PML-N or PTI comes to power after the February 8 general elections, they will destroy the country and people through their politics of revenge,” he said in the press conference at the residence of Changez Jamali.

The PPP chairman warned that the election campaigns carried out in 2018 will not work this time.

“Now, it is impossible to do the same as in the 2018 elections when Pakistan was told this is [Imran] Khan. He is your saviour. You have to support him [because] all the rest [parties] are rubbish.”

He called for an end to the politics of hatred and revenge. “We should move towards reconciliation, and decisions should be made with consensus.”

While responding to a question about PML-N’s reported plans “to roll back” the 18th Amendment, the PPP Chairman said such thinking was “dangerous” for the country and the federation.

“Those who want to abolish the 18th Amendment actually want to steal the resources of Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

The PPP leader also chastised Afghanistan, saying it should “behave like a state, instead of a group” and interact with the world as a state and government to improve its affairs.

“Afghanistan must demonstrate that the enemy of Pakistan is undoubtedly the enemy of Afghanistan,” the former foreign minister said.

Replying to a question about the forced expulsion of Afghan refugees, the PPP Chairman said that it was a complex matter. He said the caretaker government “should have consulted all relevant stakeholders” on the matter.

Referring to the situation in Chaman, where locals have opposed the new visa regime on the Pak-Afghan border, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said the government should talk with the protestors and find a solution to the problem. “Issue cannot be solved by not giving them media coverage.”

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2023

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