Ruling party should have consulted allies before budget: Bilawal

KARACHI   -   Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Friday reaffirmed his commitment to fulfilling his mother’s vision. He emphasised that those who believed the PPP would collapse after Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s assassination were proven wrong. Underscoring Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s enduring legacy and the party’s resilience, he remarked, “She continues to influence political dynamics, still forming and toppling governments from the graveyard of Garhi Khuda Bux.”

The PPP chairman while addressing a ceremony in Lyari commemorating the 71st birth anniversary of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto also highlighted her unparalleled connection with Karachi, referring to the people of Lyari as her “Ladlas”. He noted that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto shared both challenging and joyful times with the people of Karachi. “Her wedding ceremony was held here at Kakri Ground, and I was born nearby at Lady Dufferin Hospital,” he recalled.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari emphasised that three generations of his family have fought for the rights of Karachi’s citizens. “Since entering politics, I have been struggling to the development of this city,” he stated. He mentioned that he has directed Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to prioritise addressing Karachi’s issues. He acknowledged that the problems which emerged during the caretaker government are now being resolved, thanks to the relentless efforts of the Chief Minister and his team.

The PPP leader said that the current water supply is insufficient due to Karachi’s constantly growing population. He announced that the Sindh government is ready to initiate a project to supply water from the Hub Dam to address this issue, with funds allocated in the new budget 2024-25.

Regarding power outages, he noted that it is a nationwide problem, with load shedding lasting 16 to 18 hours across Sindh, Balochistan, southern Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He expressed concern that people are losing faith in federal power agencies. He further announced that the Sindh government will launch a new project in the upcoming financial year to provide free solar systems to poor families and subsidized solar panels to the middle class.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari identified unemployment as the country’s biggest issue, emphasising that the Sindh government is developing projects to create job opportunities for the youth. He recalled the popular saying about Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto: “Benazir will come, bringing employment.” He added that he has instructed the Sindh Law Minister to take legal steps to lift the court’s stay order on government jobs.

Bilawal also said that the incumbent government is taking steps to improve the economic situation. However, he emphasised the importance of consulting all its allies, including the PPP, before finalising the budget to ensure collective confidence. He noted that a PPP delegation is currently in discussions with the ruling party regarding the budget. “In these challenging times, we all must work together to manage the country,” he said. “I hope the Prime Minister will fulfill his promises. Our goal should not only be to pass the budget but also to guide the country out of this economic crisis.”

The PPP chairman expressed concern over the current political crisis, noting the rise of divisive politics. He observed that politicians in Islamabad are unwilling to engage in dialogue with one another. He urged all political parties to come together for discussions to address the challenges facing the people and strengthen the democratic system.