KARACHI: Accusing Prime Minister Imran Khan of behaving like a dictator, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said the PPP will resist any move by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to start political victimisation in the name of accountability.
“We also support the accountability process; but political victimisation under its garb is not tolerable. Khan sahib is behaving as if he is still in opposition,” Bilawal said while speaking to media after co-chairing a party meeting along with the PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari.
The meeting, which was convened at the residence of PPP MNA Naveed Qamar, was attended by senior party leaders, including Khursheed Shah, Yousaf Raza Gilani, Nayyar Bukhari, Sherry Rehman, Farooq H Naek, Murad Ali Shah, Faryal Talpur, Chaudhry Manzoor and Nisar Khuhro.
“What can we say when the prime minister is threatening the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to take action merely for victimising opponents,” the PPP chief added.
Bilawal said even though Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif had not used reasonable words for the PPP in the past, his October 5 arrest by NAB in connection with a housing scam “is a condemnable act”.
Replying to a question about possible arrest of PPP leaders, he said, “We have been hearing this since the PTI has come to power and political leaders are being victimised.”
However, a source privy to the meeting said the moot was convened in view of rumours that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) may arrest Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur by October 13.
“The recent actions of NAB and the FIA have set the alarm bells ringing in the party. The arrest of the PPP leaders who are facing money laundering and corruption charges and an inquiry into the 10-year record of the Sindh government were the main agenda of the meeting,” a source said.
He said sensitivity of the meeting could be gauged from the selection of its venue, where not a single political activity has taken place for the past decade. The sources said various legal and political options were discussed and party leaders also suggested joining hands with the PML-N on various issues.
NFC and Thar
Bilawal announced that the PPP would protest if provincial share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award was slashed. “We will be a stumbling block if anyone tries to repeal the 18th Amendment and reduce the provincial autonomy. We will launch a campaign for the rights of provinces,” he said.
To a question about a hearing in the Supreme Court on plight of Thar, he said, “One should also look at the development (work undertaken the PPP provincial government) in Thar.” He criticised the PTI government’s policies said the country had suffered a loss of billions of rupees in a short span of time.