Bilawal doubts no-trust move’s success

PPP chairman says struggle against PTI govt will continue if motion fails

Our Correspondent March 06, 2022
Photo: AFP


PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday conceded that the no-confidence motion against the PTI-led government was not an easy task and that he could not guarantee its success.

However, he added that even if the move failed, the opposition would continue its struggle against the “puppet regime”. The PPP chairman was addressing a news conference in Lahore at the residence of Nadeem Afzal Chan, who had just returned to the party’s fold. “The no-confidence motion is an uphill task but it is a risk worth taking.”

He added that waiting for guarantees meant leaving the people at the mercy of this “tyrant and unjust regime”. In a veiled criticism of the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) decision of staging a long march on Islamabad and present mass resignations, Bilawal said the no-confidence motion was the only move to bring the PTI government under immense pressure, even forcing it to reach out to its coalition partners.

Bilawal said they could bring a no confidence motion with the help of treasury benches members, who had assured their support to all the three political parties in opposition camp – the PPP, PML-N and JUI-F.

“If we have the support of the coalition partners, our chances of success in that case are near to certain. In politics, every vote is important. Politicians try to secure as many votes prior to election as possible.”

He also indicated that it was important to consider bringing a no-confidence motion against both the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The PPP chief said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, his father and party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif would meet soon to decide when to table the no-trust motion.

When asked about which side the security establishment was on, he replied that historically it had never been neutral.

“However in the coming few days, we will get to know if the establishment has actually become neutral or not. If the opposition manages to succeed in the no- confidence motion that will mean it has become neutral. But if the opposition fails, then the establishment will be blamed for its continuous support for PTI regime”

To a question about the failure of the no-confidence motion against his mother, the then prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the PPP chairman said the no-trust motion moved back then was undemocratic while this time around it was “very much democratic”.

Read more: PM's ex-spox Nadeem Afzal Chan formally rejoins PPP

To another question of the PML-N’s alleged accusation that he was the new choice of the “selectors”, Bilawal said to his knowledge the other opposition party had not said such a thing,

However when pressed again by the reporters, he told him not to try to pitch opposition parties against each other as all of them were out for a noble cause.

He added that with the exception of the PPP, every political party could be termed as “selected” -- a term used for being nurtured and supported by the security establishment.

The PPP chairman said the opposition had defeated the PTI before during the Senate election and would surely pull it off again during the no-confidence motion.

Separately while addressing a rally in Lahore, Bilawal appealed to the people of the city and the rest of Punjab to once again support the PPP so that it could serve the people and show how a government was run.

He recalled that military ruler Ziaul Haq and his supporters had hatched a conspiracy against the PPP and sent his grandfather, party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, to the gallows.

“They thought that the party had been eliminated and no one would raise their voice for the rights of the people.”

However, he said his mother, Benazir, had thwarted that conspiracy, came to Lahore in 1986 and started a revolt against Zia.

“She [Benazir] kept fighting for democracy and the rights of the people. She went head-on with dictators Zia and [former military ruler Pervez] Musharraf and kept challenging the terrorists, who wanted to destroy our country. She embraced martyrdom, but never retreated from her manifesto, stance and ideology.”

He claimed that the PPP had continued the struggle of his slain mother and realised her dream of the 18th Amendment, which gave the provinces their rights.

Also read: No-trust vote against PM Imran by March 9, says PPP leader

“We gave the NFC [National Finance Commission] award to the provinces and made them the owners of their resources. Had there been no 18th Amendment, NFC or CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor], there would have been no metro train in Lahore.”

The PPP chairman said his party was struggling against the PTI-led government to save democracy. “We demand the right to rule, the right to ownership, the right to employment and the right to equality. Pakistan should be for every citizen, irrespective of the cast, colour, creed, sect, etc.”

To achieve these rights, Bilawal added, free and transparent elections in the country were integral.
“For this to happen, it is vital for the ‘puppet’ [PM Imran] to go home. The people do not trust him and we will remove him when we reach Islamabad. After removing him, we will carry out electoral reforms so that free and fair elections could be held.”

After the address, marchers proceeded towards Muridka, where Bilawal addressed another gathering. Interestingly, Bilawal’s convoy used the motorway to travel between Tokhar Niaz Baig and Babu Sabu Instead of using city roads.


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