LAHORE: Only a few Baloch politicians have reached clandestine deals with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while the rest of Balochistan’s population is being kept in the dark about key decisions, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed on Thursday.
He was speaking at a gathering of his party’s representatives from Balochistan who arrived here to attend the PPP’s 49th Foundation Day celebrations.
Criticising the Balochistan government led by PML-N for being loyal to the ‘Raiwind throne’, he said that his party would restore the Baloch people’s confidence in democracy.
He claimed that the PPP would emerge as the dominant political force in the 2018 general elections in Balochistan, he said that after coming to power in the province, his party would nominate an ethnic Baloch as chief minister.
Reiterating concerns over ignoring the rights of smaller provinces in massive development projects such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said CPEC was a buzzword across Punjab but no progress was visible in this regard in other provinces.
Bilawal announced that his party would expand its network, setting up political wings at the tehsil level in Balochistan.
Baloch representatives presented Bilawal a traditional turban on the occasion.
PPP leaders and workers continued to arrive here at the Bilawal House to join in the Foundation Day celebrations.
Addressing journalists outside the Bilawal House, president of PPP Sindh and provincial minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said that the prime minister was instinctually resorting to the politics of the ‘90s. He recalled that it was Nawaz Sharif who had first raised the slogan of Jag Punjabi Jag’ in that era.
Criticising Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Khuhro said PTI’s immature and hasty politics had strengthened the government’s hand.
Responding to a question, he said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) wanted to revert to the local government system that was in vogue during the Musharraf regime in Karachi.
Dictators, he said, had always tried to disband the PPP, but failed to do so because the PPP was in reality people’s party in which all decisions were made by the public.
He pointed out that people who had quit the party had themselves become relics of the past. “The PPP is still intact and very much here,” he asserted.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2016.