Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday targeted the Sharif family during his address to the people of Lahore’s NA-127 constituency.

“For the last 30 years, a party [referring to PML-N] has ruled Lahore, but its condition is worse than any other city in the country. That party, in fact, represented the elite and not the common man; therefore, it served only the former’s interests. On the contrary, the PPP is a party representing all segments of society and works for their welfare,” he said, urging Lahorites to vote for the PPP this time to change their destiny.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari blamed former military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq and former ISI chief Gen Ha­­mid Gul for imposing the PML-N on Punjab to keep the PPP away.

He said that his party’s foundation was laid in Lahore, and his mother, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, had chosen this city on her return from exile in 1986.

Expresses hope for PPP’s success in Lahore, emphasising the party’s roots and pro-people manifesto

“We want the people to give us a chance in the upcoming polls, and the PPP will not disappoint them and will deliver through its 10-point pro-people manifesto,” said Mr Bhutto-Zardari, flanked by PPP’s Faisal Mir and Aslam Gill.

When asked whether he still complained about the level playing field in the polls, the PPP leader said, “We don’t want to complain about a level playing field at the moment, as our total focus is on our campaign, telling the people that the PPP will resolve their problems.”

This week, Mr Bhutto-Zardari launched his election campaign in NA-127, where the PML-N is li­­kely to pitch its deputy secretary-general, Attaullah Tarar. Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Senator Ijaz Chaudhry and Advocate Sardar Latif Khosa have also submitted their papers for this constituency.

When asked how he fancied his chances in this Lahore constituency, given PPP’s not much popularity here, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said, “Victory or defeat is in God’s hands… However, my party’s political journey had begun in Lahore, and I am also starting my political journey from this city. I am hopeful that people will vote for our manifesto.”

He added that his party is standing behind Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa in getting his order of Feb 8 polls implemented.

“CJP Isa has declared that the elections will be held on Feb 8, and no one can change it. We tr­­u­st him and are standing behind him to get his order impleme­n­ted,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari said in a talk with journalists on Saturday during his visit to NA-127.

Responding to a question about a resolution of the Senate calling for the postponement of elections, the PPP chief sounded categorical, saying: “Whether such a resolution is passed by the Senate, UN, or OIC, the elections will be held as per the announced schedule of Feb 8.”

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2024

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