PPP chief says it’s unjust to halt projects in Sindh while federal projects continuing n Nawaz should face courts after coming to country n Terms India a rogue state after Sikh leader murder.
LAHORE - PPP Chairman and former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that their party’s complaint about provision of a level playing field in the upcoming elections is directly towards the PML-N.
“Our call for a level playing field is directed towards the PML-N,” said Bilawal when asked during a media interaction here yesterday to specify the institution or party that denied the PPP a level playing field ahead of the elections.
To questions regarding the PPP’s concerns about fair competition in the upcoming polls, the PPP chief stated that the party had entrusted its president Asif Zardari with the responsibility of addressing these concerns.
He also emphasized that the law clearly outlined the use of development funds, encompassing federal, provincial, and local budgets. “If projects have received approval and budget allocation, they should proceed,” he said.
He added that it was unjust for budgeted projects in Sindh to be halted while federal projects, including ongoing and new initiatives continued. Bilawal noted that the caretaker government in Punjab had introduced interest-free loans for judges to acquire plots, highlighting the Election Commission’s moral, legal, and constitutional duty to ensure a level playing field nationwide. He stated, “If there are to be no new or ongoing schemes in Sindh, the same principle should apply elsewhere in the provinces.”
Regarding the election date, Bilawal asserted that the Election Commission of Pakistan held exclusive authority and responsibility for announcing the election date and schedule, with no room for interference. “Our Central Executive Committee has called for the immediate release of the election schedule and date. While a 90-day delay may not be as concerning, the absence of an election date announcement exacerbates the issue,” he added.
Responding to another question, he refuted the perception of declining support for the PPP, noting that the party continued to welcome new members daily.
Regarding the reopening of NAB cases, he dismissed them as outdated and unsubstantiated, with no bearing on the upcoming elections.
In response to a question, Chairman Bilawal emphasized the importance of a full court hearing of the Practice and Procedure Act 2023 case, given its implications for parliamentary supremacy, in which the court had a vested interest.
Addressing another query, Chairman Bilawal acknowledged the common man’s distress over the historic price hike in Pakistan. He emphasized that citizens faced difficult choices, such as sending their children to school, providing healthcare for their elders, or paying utility bills. He emphasized the need for hope and assurance that their votes would be genuinely counted and that their authentic representatives would negotiate with the IMF to alleviate their burdens.
Bilawal pointed out that the PPP’s track record demonstrated its ability to achieve this, as it navigated the country through the 2008 global recession. Initiatives such as the Benazir Income Support Program empowered women, raised salaries and pensions, and transformed Pakistan into an exporting nation rather than an importer of goods. To a question, he expressed the PPP’s support for Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country if a date had been set for it and face the courts for his cases.
In response to another question, the Chairman PPP highlighted the global recognition of the sacrifices and contributions of the Mother of Democracy, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, and the late Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. He noted that their struggle had advanced women’s empowerment in the country, exemplified by a judge taking his oath with his wife by his side. About the diplomatic conflict between Canada and India, Bilawal said that India’s alleged involvement in the killing of a Sikh Canadian citizen was a serious matter and constituted a violation of a NATO member state’s sovereignty.
The former foreign minister emphasized that India’s actions had placed it under the international spotlight, particularly in relation to its activities in Kashmir. He underscored that the accusation made by the Canadian government was substantial and warranted extensive media coverage and attention from the foreign office.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that Pakistan had previously apprehended Indian spies engaged in acts of terrorism within its borders, and now, India’s infringement on a NATO member state’s sovereignty raised additional concerns.