PML-N’s ‘fixed match’ won’t work, Bilawal asserts

Published January 27, 2024
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a huge public meeting at Technology College ground in Multan on Friday. — X/MediaCellPPP
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses a huge public meeting at Technology College ground in Multan on Friday. — X/MediaCellPPP

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that PML-N leaders did not come out of their houses for electioneering thinking they got the match fixed, but the PPP and its allies would jointly hunt the ‘Lion’ with ‘Arrow’.

Calling his political opponents the dwellers of Raiwind, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said they did not leave their houses and expected to win the elections without any effort. He told the masses that the only way to stop Nawaz Sharif and his cronies from looting the country was to vote for PPP.

Speaking at a huge public meeting at Technology College ground in Multan on Friday, the PPP chairman thanked the people of Multan for their overwhelming support and pro­mised a new beginning from Feb 8.

He criticised traditional political leaders for promoting division and hatred for personal gains and pledged to unify the country and address public issues, including the economic and security situation. He lashed out at other political parties for their indifference to the country’s problems and their focus on just gaining power.

Tells jiyalas of Multan, chief minister will be from south Punjab

The PPP chairman pledged to visit KP and Balochistan also and engage with the people directly.

He criticised the PML-N for not even announcing its manifesto, suggesting the PML-N leaders are uncertain about their plans after coming to power. He accused the PML-N leaders of trying to copy PPP’s manifesto, particularly its promise of free 300 units of electricity, in their speeches.

Outlining his election strategy, he said it was based on a 10-point economic charter rather than resorting to ‘revenge, violence or hate’. He proposed devolving 17 federal ministries to save Rs300 billion that he said would be allocated to welfare projects.

He also mentioned plans to redirect Rs1,500 billion given to the privileged class annually through subsidies to farmers, labourers and students.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari also announced several initiatives, including increasing wages, providing 300 units of free electricity to deserving citizens through solar power, and constructing three million houses nationwide with ownership given to women of the households.

Addressing the women of the area, the PPP leader pledged to expand the Benazir Income Support Programme and provide interest-free loans to help them gain financial independence and contribute to the country’s economy.

For farmers and labourers of south Punjab, he reiterated the promise of ‘Benazir Kissan Card’ and ‘Benazir Mazdoor Card’ to provide crop insurance and financial assistance to all small farmers, and social security to labourers. He also announced the initiation of a Youth Card for the youth to tackle unemployment and equip them with necessary skills, along with financial assistance.

He said he is contesting elections from Lahore and highlighted the issues of poverty, unemployment, and infrastructure of the city, contradicting the utopian image often portrayed of the city. The PPP aims to represent the entire country and address its problems without discrimination, he said.

The PPP chairman emphasised his desire to serve the people rather than being anyone’s favourite and credited Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for making the country an atomic power and bringing missile technology, respectively. He criticised the PML-N for taking credit of both achievements.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari asserted that President Zardari was the founder of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and criticised the PML-N for its initial opposition and subsequent claim to the project.

He accused the PML-N of attempting to steal the internationally acclaimed Benazir Income Support Programme after initially criticising it. He also credited Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for initiating the Thar Coal Project and himself and President Zardari for implementing it, criticising the PML-N for claiming it as its achievement.

He promised the people of Multan that the chief minister of Punjab would be from south Punjab if given the opportunity, while he would serve the people as their prime minister.

Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Rana Mehmoodul Hassan, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Ali Musa Gilani and other PPP ticket holders from Multan also addressed the gathering.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2024


To find your constituency and the location of your polling booth, SMS your NIC number (without spaces) to 8300. Once you know your constituency, you can find out about the contesting candidates by visiting the ECP website here and checking the province-wise break-up of Form 33s.

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