PTI doesn’t practise what it preaches, says Bilawal

Published May 16, 2024
Photo via X/@NAofPakistan
Photo via X/@NAofPakistan

ISLAMABAD: PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday chided the PTI for seeking talks with the military, recalling that the party’s leaders had recently lectured on the importance of upholding the Constitution and warned the army against interfering in politics.

Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on his father’s address to a joint sitting of parliament, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said, “They negate with their politics what they say.”

He said that they claim to be fighting for the supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law, and real independence, but they want talks with the military establishment.

At one point, the PPP chairman said he would like to express his dismay at the opposition’s “non-serious attitude”, igniting a protest from the opposition benches. He said that the opposition neither be­l­ieves in democracy nor is it interested in the rule of the Constitution, rather they are weeping about their own problems.

Chides party for seeking talks with military after ‘lectures’ on constitutional supremacy; PTI members list yet more ‘conditions’

“They very well know whose feet they have to touch to serve their interests,” he remarked.

He recalled that the opposition leader said the establishment should not have any role in politics but in contradiction to their words, they are trying to drag them into politics.

He also criticised the PTI’s decision to pick a person like Ali Amin Gandapur as the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“In the past, they gave the gift of Usman Buzdar to Punjab,” he recalled.

He said that members of the opposition benches were weeping about their leader who himself was crying and begging that he should be brought out of jail. He said that the opposition should provide input for the upcoming budget as the country was passing through an economic crisis.

“If they are getting salary, will they justify it by playing positive role in the parliament instead of weeping about their own problems,” he asked.

PTI sets more conditions

Calls for reconciliation and dialogue dominated the proceedings of the house, with the PTI setting further conditions for talks.

PTI leader Zain Qureshi, son of former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, in his speech, said his party was ready for talks but there were some conditions for it. He said all those behind bars on the basis of politically motivated cases including Imran Khan and his father should be released.

He also demanded the formation of a commission to probe the theft of PTI’s mandate through manipulations in Forms 47s. He also sought the formation of a commission to investigate the facts behind the May 9 incident.

He said those found involved should be taken to task. Without naming anybody, he said an apology should be tendered by the one found to be guilty.

Riaz Fatyana of PTI said there sho­uld be a clear agenda for the dialogue.

He also raised the matter of discrepancies in forms 45 and 47, stating that cases of 60 NA seats filed with the tribunals should be decided at the earliest.

“If this is done on merit, it would lead to opposition and treasury members swapping their seats,” he claimed.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2024

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