ISLAMABAD: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday said opposition members were afraid of his sister Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari and father President Asif Ali Zardari.

Talking to reporters in the parliament house, he said the opposition resorted to shouting when Aseefa was taking the oath as MNA and Mr Zardari was addressing the joint sitting of the parliament on Thursday.

“This shows that they are afraid of a nihatti larki [an unarmed girl]. We will never be deterred by bullying tactics as we have faced dictators like Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf for the last three generations,” he added.

He noted that President Zardari made history when he addressed the parliament for the seventh time. “In his address, President Zardari pointed out the issues which are the need of the hour. We should think of the country instead of petty differences,” he added.

On a question about terrorism, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said PTI founder Imran Khan’s government policy regarding the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had “freed terrorists from prisons” and invited them, who were in Afghan prisons before the “fall of Kabul”, to enter Pakistan.

“The parliament was not taken on board and the then president gave the terrorists clemency. That was the policy of Imran Khan’s government. We had criticised that policy then and now we should have a clear stance to see the issue not as political but as an issue of national security,” he added.

On the opposition’s uproar during President Zardari’s address to the joint session, he said every political party has the right to engage in politics but on the issue of foreign affairs, diplomatic issues, etc. “We should have displayed unity in front of diplomats. These diplomats will tell their countries about this opposition’s behaviour as well,” he added.

On the devastation caused by floods in UAE, the PPP chairman said that climate change was increasing in its intensity with time.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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