Bilawal offers conditional reconciliation with PDM

PPP leader says alliance should drop the idea of en masse resignations, adopt strategy of no-confidence motion

Rizwan Shehzad   January 19, 2022
PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto. PHOTO: FILE



Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said his party would rejoin the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) provided that the multi-party alliance dropped its proposal for en masse resignations and adopted his strategy of the no-confidence move.

The PPP chairman offered a counterproposal to PDM and once again broached the idea of bringing a no-confidence motion against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government – a bone of contention that resulted in the party’s separation from the alliance.

Bilawal’s indication towards the prospects of reconciliation constitutes his first statement since his party poured cold water on the PDM’s idea of en masse resignation, leaving the alliance struggling to salvage its plans to oust the incumbent government.

“My demand from the first day was to bring a no-confidence motion against this government,” Bilawal said during his media talk at the Parliament House on Tuesday.

“The government should be dislodged through democratic means,” the PPP chairman said, adding all parties have to play their role to oust the government.

“We have decided to March on Feb 27, and it does not matter if there is a single march or multiple ones. They will only add to the pressure on the government.”

Every democratic party will have to play its role to rid people of this government, he added.

Bilawal said that there was a high possibility of the opposition working together now that the PDM has come to the same conclusion that PPP had reached earlier.

In a PDM meeting on March 16 last year, Asif Ali Zardari had demanded that ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, who is in London for medical treatment, should return to the country, saying that the leaders should be prepared to go to jails in their struggle.

Apart from Sharif’s return, the meeting had witnessed heated exchanges on tendering resignations from assemblies and defeat of the opposition candidates in the election for Senate top slots. PPP had disagreed with the proposal of linking long march against the government with resignations from the assemblies.

During Tuesday’s talk, Bilawal said that PPP rallies will pass through the constituencies of government MNAs and allies and show them the demand of the people, which is to be liberated from the tyranny of this new Pakistan.

The chairperson said that the reservation regarding the prices of essential commodities being multiplied due to the mini-budget has been proved correct, saying Pakistan had already been facing an economic crisis before the mini-budget, which has now led to the historic price hike, unemployment and poverty.

“The people are being crushed under this burden,” he said, adding that PPP has already decided that it will take to the streets against this incapable government and will start the long march from Karachi on 27 February. “We can never resort to undemocratic practices,” he reiterated.

SBP bill

Commenting on the bill pertaining to granting autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), he regretted that opposition’s amendments were not heard regarding the bill.

“This was the biggest economic attack on the country in its history,” he lamented, adding that after the legislation, SBP is not answerable to the government, parliament, judiciary and the people. “Rather,” he said, “it will be run on the dictation of international financial institutions.”

The account of our defence budget will be in the State Bank and the government, parliament or the judiciary will have no control over it, he said, adding the defence expenditure would be for the world to see and the nuclear programme will be threatened. “This government has attacked our economic sovereignty and democratic liberties,” he said.

Presidential system

Regarding the presidential system, he said that the constitution of the Quaid-e-Awam has given a federal, democratic and parliamentary Islamic republic to the nation, adding “there is no space for a presidential system in the constitution.” Talking about the presidential system, he said that it was an effort to distract the people from the price-hike, unemployment, poverty and agricultural crisis.

PPP has always maintained the respect of the country in the international community, he said, adding that Pakistan had discontinued the NATO supply and demanded an apology from the United States during the Salalah incident. For the first time in history, he recalled, a superpower had apologized to an elected government and its people.

The people always come first for a truly elected government of the people as was the case with Quaid-e-Awam, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari. PPP's government in the future will follow the same precedent.

LG polls

The first phase of the local body elections in K-P was the referendum against this government. All the opposition parties outperformed the PTI in those elections. Regarding extremism, Bilawal said that there is a false dichotomy in the country as Islam does not allow for women and children to be killed.


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