PPP will fulfil election promises within six months of govt formation: Bilawal

Published January 31, 2024
PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a public meeting in Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday. — Dawn
PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a public meeting in Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday. — Dawn

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday said his party would fulfil its manifesto commitments within six months of forming the government as it had already “arranged” finances for the promised development projects.

Addressing a public meeting here as part of the party’s election campaign, Mr Bilawal said he strongly believed that democracy was panacea for the issues and challenges facing the country, while politics of division, hatred and revenge led the country to retrogression.

He said after Benazir Bhutto became the prime minister and Asif Ali Zardari the country’s president, the two PPP leaders didn’t act against political rivals and shouted slogans like “democracy is the best revenge” and “Pakistan khappay” respectively.

Hitting at political opponents, the PPP leader said those not carrying out election campaigns under the pretext of bad weather should come out to see “the sky was clear, now.”

Says as PM, he’ll eradicate ‘politics of revenge, hatred’

He said there were threats to the lives of his party leaders, including him, but they continued to hold public meetings for the sake of democracy and people’s development.

Holding a model of his party’s election symbol ‘arrow’, Mr Bilawal said his party’s nominee would defeat JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in his hometown Dera Ismail Khan to prove that the region is “mini-Larkana.”

He said as promised in the 2024 election manifesto, he, after becoming the prime minister, would increase funding for the Benazir Income Support Programme and other public welfare projects.

The PPP leader said 17-18 federal government departments that were to be devolved to provinces through the 18th Constitutional Amendment cost the exchequer around Rs300 billion.

He said his party’s government would divert those funds to development schemes.

Mr Bilawal said the government of the PPP’s political rivals provided Rs1,500 billion subsidies annually to the elite on different goods though that huge amount should have been utilised for the welfare of the people, especially the poor.

He said the PPP government would build three million houses in the country for the poor people.

“This promise isn’t like those made by [PTI founder] Imran Khan. Time will prove that I’m true to my words,” he said.

The PPP leader said after coming to power, he won’t say like other politicians that he had found the treasury empty.

“As the prime minister, I will put an end to the politics of revenge and hatred in the country,” he said.

Mr Bilawal urged people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to vote for his party to ensure their sense of deprivation is removed and the province’s destiny, especially Dera Ismail Khan’s, was changed.

He asked his party’s workers to educate people about the importance of voting, saying the ballot determines the country’s future.

“People should use the power of vote wisely instead of wasting the ballot by casting it for those who always served their own interests only,” he said.

The PPP leader said his party’s government would build a women’s university in Dera Ismail Khan.

He also promised the construction of hospitals all over the country saying the people would get free treatment of every disease unlike the Sehat Card that covered certain health issues only.

Mr Bilawal said the real electoral contest on Feb 8 would take place between PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

He said the governments of other parties had badly failed to deliver, so the people would vote the PPP to power after seeing its good performance in the past.

The PPP leader resented the use of inappropriate language by politicians.

Earlier, PPP central information secretary Faisal Karim Kundi said the participation of people in large numbers in the public meeting proved that Dera Ismail Khan was the mini-Larkana, a stronghold of the party.

“The Dera people have today voted for the Peoples Party,” he said.

Mr Kundi said whenever the PPP came to power, it carried out projects for people’s development.

He said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was fooling people in the name of religion.

The PPP leader said the “political mullah” had always threatened people by declaring that if he wasn’t elected, then Islam would be in danger in the country.

He said PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, as the prime minister, carried out mega development projects, including Chashma Right Bank Canal, Gomal University, Radio Pakistan station, Dera-Darya Khan bridge and agricultural reforms, in Dera Ismail Khan.

Mr Kundi praised women participants for showing up in large numbers. He said the women were carrying out the party’s election campaign in the region impressively. He claimed that the PPP would sweep the Feb 08 election in Dera Ismail Khan.

PPP election candidates Fatehullah Khan Miankhel, Ihsanullah Khan Miankhel and Nawabzada Azizullah Khan Alizai also addressed the event.

Carrying placards and party flags, the participants shouted slogans against Mr Fazl.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2024

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