Not in favour of en masse resignations: Bilawal

Objects to on-going anti-encroachment operations in Sindh without prior compensation


Our Correspondent March 16, 2021
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhuto Zardari. SCREENGRAB

HYDERABAD:

Reinforcing the existence of discord among the Pakistan Democratic Movement leadership, Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said he does not favour en masse resignations of the opposition's legislators at this stage.

"We should use the resignations as an atom bomb, as the last option," he underscored at a press conference held after the concluding ceremony of the three-day Sindh Livestock Expo 2021 in Hyderabad on Monday. Both, the PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are of the view that resignations have become indispensable for launching a decisive political movement to oust Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government in the Centre.

The PDM leadership will discuss this divisive issue at their meeting scheduled in Islamabad on March 16 (today).

Bilawal believes that the opposition parties have some other cards up their sleeves before they take recourse to exiting the national and provincial assemblies in protest.

"At this time our cards of parliament and no confidence are being successfully played. We need to put more emphasis on this strategy." He recalled that on the PPP's advice the PDM took the mutual decision of participating in the by-elections, the elections of senators, and the in-house elections for Senate chairperson and deputy chairperson.

He contended that the opposition defeated the ruling coalition in all three contests including the Senate chairperson's elections in which the PDM candidate, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, was polled 49 votes against Sadiq Sanjrani's 48.

"Whichever victories the PDM has secured so far they have been inside the parliament. The tough time, the resistance and the defeat which we have given to the government has been inside the parliament," Bilawal claimed.

He believed that the opposition's struggle has reached a crucial point as the PTI-led coalition government's fragility has been exposed in the upper house and their majority is also in danger in the Punjab Assembly.

He asserted that the PDM should take a serious political decision so that more political losses could be rendered to the government and the target of the supremacy of the constitution and parliament could be achieved to some extent.

"This way we will make our stance in the PDM meeting."

He argued that if the opposition had boycotted all those three elections and started the sit-in protest, Prime Minister Imran Khan would have been celebrating his electoral gains.

Responding to a query about the movement's success in making the establishment neutral in the political tug of war, the PPP chairperson said that hope was still alive.

"Keeping the hope to see the establishment neutral isn't a bad thing ...We also don't believe that one jalsa [public rally], one speech of the PDM can achieve this goal of neutrality."

He said that through a continuous struggle the democratic forces will have to snatch their space. Bilawal added that during the last few years a lot of public criticism against the establishment's interference has been witnessed.

"Despite their intervention, you won the by-polls, the senators' election and almost the Senate chairmanship.

So the answer is that we ought to continue this struggle which happens to be a long one." Demolitions The PPP chairperson disapproved of the on-going anti-encroachment operation across Sindh underlining that before demolition of residential and commercial structures the affected people should either be compensated or relocated.

"Whenever these hard-line positions are taken by the courts, we always take the side of the poor people and keep the stance that prior to the operation, compensation and relocation should be started and completed."

He told that though the Sindh cabinet and the provincial assembly have discussed this matter with concern, the people do not want to listen about what a meeting or the floor of the assembly discussed.

"The people want the Sindh Assembly to quickly legislate a law so that the houses of poor people built on a nullah or irrigation land are given some lawful protection," Bilawal said that by doing so the PPP-led provincial government did not want to upset the courts but they believe that unless the affected people are not compensated or relocated they should not be meted out any cruelty.

"I hope the CM and irrigation ministers are sitting here. They will take the right steps so that when we interact next time no one should take up this issue before me," he sternly said.

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