There is no level playing field for everyone before elections: Bilawal

PPP leader says it is ECP’s power to give date for general elections n PPP never tried to avoid elections; we are asking ECP to announce date

SUKKUR/SHIKARPUR/MULTAN  -  Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chair­man Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday said that there is no level playing field for everyone even the general elec­tions are around the corner. The PPP leader also said that that the old way of running the country has to be aban­doned. He further said that the solu­tion to the problems facing the coun­try is “Awami Raj” (people’s rule), and the elected representatives of the people must be seated in Islamabad.

After condoling with the family of journalist Jan Muhammad Mahar, who was killed by armed assailants in Sukkur last month, the PPP chair­man told reporters that the bru­tal killing of Mahar was too much to condemn. He said that the progress in this case was not done in the way it should have been and many ques­tions have been raised in the matter. “The officers who have been posted in Karachi are from other provinc­es, so they may not have an idea, but the whole of Sindh is demanding that justice be given to the slain journal­ist,” he added.

In response to a question asked by a journalist, Chairman Bilawal Bhut­to Zardari said that currently there is a level playing field for some in the country, but not for others, and I ob­ject to that (situation). 

The PPP chairman said that the policemen who are fighting da­coits in Kacha area need all our support, adding that the Ameri­can weapons left in Afghanistan are now being used by terror­ists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as dacoits in Sindh’s Kacha region. “How dangerous was Imran Khan’s policy of settling terrorists from Afghanistan in the tribal areas of the country, its effects are now visible,” he pointed out. He said that terror­ism is rising all over the country because the policy of the PPP has not been implemented. Be­fore the 2014 operation, all the parties said that there should be talks with the terrorists, but PPP was the only party that said that the terrorists must be fought. “Even when no male pol­itician dared to speak, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fear­lessly resisted the terrorists,” he recalled.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Imran Khan spoiled the na­tional security policy in a few days, and when the Taliban gov­ernment came to Afghanistan, he also opened the way for the terrorists who had escaped from the prisons of Afghanistan. A plan was made to settle those terrorists here, he said and add­ed: “Did ex-military officer Gen­eral (r) Faiz Hameed and Imran Khan have no idea that if they resettle these terrorists in FATA area, how long it will take them to reach Karachi?”

The PPP chairman said that we embraced martyrdoms and also defeated the terrorists, but then two or three people, sur­prisingly, forgave the enemies. He said that we have to do jus­tice to our people, citizens, mar­tyrs and the state. “Those who were involved in that wrong de­cision should be held account­able. If they are politicians, they will be held accountable by the people and if they are from any institution, they should be held accountable by that institu­tion,” he demanded and contin­ued that the people of Pakistan and the families of the martyrs should be told, the story behind the return of the terrorists as it should be public now.

Talking about inflation, pow­er crisis and other issues, Chair­man Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the people have to suffer the decisions that are made in Islamabad’s bureaucracy, add­ing that the constitution says that where there are resourc­es, the local people have the first right to them. “But we are told that we have to buy expen­sive LNG, because the cheap gas we have, is to be supplied it to other areas,” he said, and urged that this is injustice, this injus­tice has to be removed, and un­til this injustice is not removed, the issue like electricity cannot be solved.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that in the areas where there is no electricity for 18 hours, the electricity bill reflects as if electricity has been used for 24 hours. He said that there are many resources in the coun­try, and PPP has made a plan regarding the electricity cri­sis. “There should be plans un­der Public Private Partnership mode for electricity. We will bring solar and green energy projects,” he announced.

On a question regarding the elections, Chairman PPP said that it is the power of the Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to give the date for the general elections, so we are ask­ing them to give the date. He added that inflation and econo­my are also linked to elections, because if the elected represen­tatives are seated in Islamabad, they will be able to represent public, and solve the problems.

Bibi Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and other leaders also accom­panied him on this occasion. Meanwhile, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Bibi Aseefa Bhutto Zardari reached Wa­zirabad village of Shikarpur dis­trict and condoled with former federal minister Ghous Bux Ma­har on death of his son-in-law.

Also, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressing the public gather­ing at Saidan Wala Chowk Mul­tan said that he is grateful to the workers of the PPP who showed up with such fervour. He said that the people of this land, Mul­tan, have never disappointed the PPP. They have always sup­ported the Party. When Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtar­ma Benazir Bhutto approached the people of Multan, they were welcomed with open arms.

Chairman Bilawal said that he still remembers when the entire Multan had welcomed the PPP when it had initiated a movement against the puppet PM and his regime. The people of Multan had made their de­cision apparent to Islamabad and demanded for the select­ed PM to be ousted from the of­fice. When we reached Islam­abad, we used the democratic tool of the no-confidence to end the selected rule. At the time of the countrywide bye-elec­tions, we had sent Musa Gillani to the people for campaigning in this regard, the workers of Multan ran a marvellous cam­paign. At a time when those in power themselves were losing the bye-elections, Musa Gillani, the representative of the PPP emerged victorious. 

The people of Multan did not bow down to or cower down from any sort of pressure. Even at that time, we had stressed on not running from elections. A delay could happen, but elec­tions cannot be evaded. As was in the case of the by-elections, the people of Multan will not disappoint us now either. We have never tried to avoid the elections, we as a party have always believed in combating democratically. We did not run from the elections even when our beloved leader, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred. We are a party that has contested in elections while shouldering the coffins of our martyrs.

In the 2013 elections, Ali Haider Gillani was kidnapped to spread terror and allow for rigging to take place. That was an unsuccessful attempt at cre­ating fear in our hearts and we contested in the elections. Cur­rently, there are entities that want to distance the people from the institutions. The May 9 conspiracy is before all of us. It is our responsibility, that of po­litical workers to combat these anti-people, puppet political parties democratically in ev­ery province. The people will emerge victorious, as will the symbol of the arrow and the Pa­kistan Peoples Party.

Chairman Bilawal said that they will set out for Muzaffar­garh tomorrow and then to La­hore for a CEC meeting of the Party. We will return to Mul­tan for the election campaign and will work hard to be trium­phant just as we did for Quaid-e-Awam and Shaheed Mohtar­ma Benazir Bhutto.

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