Zardari, Bilawal differ over general elections date

Bilawal calls caretaker govt chair-takers

A day after Bilawal lashed out at election commission, Zardari says we have complete confidence in CEC n Zardari says election commission bound to work on new delimitations after census n PPP chairman says polls must be held within 90 days.


KARACHI/BADIN  -  Former President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari Saturday said that the Election Commission will conduct the general elec­tion according to the Constitu­tion. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday lashed out at the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan over administrative matters in the Sindh province and de­manded the chief election com­missioner to announce the elec­tion within 90 days. He said, 'We have complete confidence in the Chief Election Commis­sioner and all the members.'

The former President said that the election commission was bound to work on new delimi­tations after the census. He said that the caretaker government should complete the projects of the Special Investment Facilita­tion Council (SIFC) as soon as possible and put the country on the path to development. He fur­ther said that the country was currently going through an eco­nomic crisis for which we all should worry about the economy first instead of politics.

On Saturday, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhut­to Zardari appealed to the na­tion to support his PPP party to solve the problems being faced by Pakistan. The PPP Chairman while talking to reporters in Ba­din said that the only choice to solve and confront the problems and challenges of the country is the PPP. He said, “I do not claim that I will solve all the prob­lems overnight, but I can prom­ise that whenever PPP comes into power it is a government of people and when someone else comes to power, it is the govern­ment of the rich and elite.”

Bilawal also said that the peo­ple of Pakistan were told when­ever any talks with the IMF that the time for the sacrifice has come. I think that now the peo­ple of Pakistan have the right to ask what Pakistan is doing for us, what the government of Pa­kistan is doing for the people in­stead of seeking mere sacrific­es. He pointed out that when a people-friendly government is formed, projects like Benazir Income Support Program and “Apni Zameen Apna Makan” are launched and the youth get employment. Peo­ple have seen all the governments and now they do not want politics of division and ha­tred, they want solutions to their problems and I believe that only youth leadership can solve these (public) problems.

In response to a question, the PPP Chairman said that a meeting of the Central Executive Com­mittee of the party was held in Karachi, which was jointly chaired by him and President Asif Ali Zardari. In that meeting, the legal experts of the party had told that according to the Constitution, general elections should be held within 90 days. “As far as political and constitutional matters and party policy is concerned, I am bound by the de­cisions of the party workers and the party’s CEC. We had decided in the last meeting of the CEC that the ECP would be contacted, and a delega­tion of the PPP met the ECP and we put our objec­tions before them.” 

Bilawal was asked about Zardari’s statement, to which he said he was “bound to [former] pres­ident Zardari’s directives in family matters” but “as far as political and Constitutional matters and the party policy were concerned”, he was bound to the “party workers’ and the central executive committee’s (CEC’s) decisions”.

Speaking to reporters in Badin, he recalled that during the CEC meeting last month, it had been emphasised that the polls should be held within the 90-day period, in line with the Con­stitution.

PPP Chairman said that if the prices of elec­tricity, petrol and dollars are reduced and pub­lic problems are eliminated, then we and the people of Pakistan will have to pay for it. I think the current economic crisis, as serious as it is, can only be solved by elected representatives of the people. I think, democracy is the solution to all the problems of Pakistan.

He said that there is no objection to caretaker government, but if it becomes the chair-takers from caretakers, then there will be objection. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the economic problems that Pakistan is currently facing are unprecedented and urged all the political par­ties in the country to move beyond blaming, and find solutions to the problems.

Meanwhile, the PPP Chairman visited south­ern Sindh districts of Thatta, Sajawal and Ba­din on Saturday and condoled with the party leaders and MNAs over the death of their loved ones.

During the journey, he was warmly welcomed by the local community and people at various places including Malir, Ghaghar Phatak, Dhabi­ji, Gharo, Guju, Makli, Thatta, Saeedpur, Sujawal, Golarchi and Badin.

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