Daring former prime minister Imran Khan to give up Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies, Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Wednesday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will never resign from the two provincial legislatures.
Addressing a big public rally in Karachi’s Nishtar Park to commemorate the 55th Foundation Day of the party, Bilawal lampooned PTI Chairman Imran Khan for doing politics of chaos and anarchy to save his theft of Toshakhana watches as well as his sister Aleema Khan and close family friend Farah Gogi.
“Write this down. They will never resign from K-P and Punjab [assemblies]. They gave resignation from the National Assembly [as well] but they soon reached out to court when the by-elections were about to be held, saying that ‘please don’t accept our resignations’,” he said.
Calling the PTI’s recent long march a “big failure”, the foreign minister said that Imran Khan ran away just like he did when the no-confidence motion was tabled in the National Assembly. “If you want to resign then you should do it right away. The PPP will compete with you.”
He urged political foes to stop the politics of hate and chaos and stop conspiracy against democracy. “Only then the nation might forgive you. In all conspiracies, such selected people have been involved,” he added.
Bilawal said that chaos and hate were spread throughout the country to save Farah Gogi, Aleema Khan and to hide from foreign funding case. “We warn such political forces and remind them that the PPP is here. We defeated all conspiracies against democracy in the past and we will do so in future as well,” he added.
“The statement of non-interference in politics by the institutions has disturbed the selected politicians. When they were Faizyab [supported] the mandate in Lyari [the constituency of Karachi, from where Bilawal also contested in the 2018 elections] was stolen,” he added.
Bilawal emphasised that the PPP always promoted peace and tolerance and pursued the politics of uniting the country. “The PPP does not do the politics of revenge and hatred,” Bilawal told a charged crowd, amid full throated sloganeering of Jeay Bhutto.
He continued that a puppet political party was set up to end PPP’s politics. “They wanted to limit us to one province or even talked about ending our politics from there as well. Many people were forced at gunpoint to leave the party. But still, we never adopted politics of hate and chaos,” he said.
Bilawal started his speech with thanking the people of Karachi who “have won our hearts”. Stressing that it was the PPP’s right to seek mayorship of the metropolis, he said: “In the upcoming local bodies elections, a Jayala, sitting in the historic Nishtar Park, will be the mayor of this city.”
He assured the masses the PPP would resolve the issues of the people just like it rid the masses of Niazi regime. “This PPP has served the people for 55 years. We chased away three dictators with the slogans of Jeay Bhutto,” the PPP chairman said.
He then addressed the youth, saying: “You are wrongly told that leaders take U-turns. They do not. Leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto never took a U-turn. This was also the philosophy of Benazir Bhutto. Politicians of today need to learn from Benazir Bhutto, who believed in politics of love and hope rather than hate.”
In a tribute to Benazir Bhutto, he said that “her father and both her brothers were martyred, she was exiled, she was put into prison. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, was put in prison for 12 years, but despite all these atrocities she never did politics of hate and chaos”.
And paying his tribute to the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he added that after losing the 1971 war, Bhutto took over the country and encouraged a defeated nation to stand on its feet again. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said, returned 90,000 prisoners of war through a successful foreign policy and took back 5,000 square miles from the enemy.
“Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave every Pakistani the right to vote. Pakistan was given the unanimous Constitution of 1973. Bhutto laid the foundation of Awami Raj in this country. If the country is a nuclear power, then its credit also goes to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.”
“Even today, the Pakistan Peoples Party is committed to his philosophy and wants to keep the entire nation united. The Peoples Party has always given priority to the development of the country. Black gold [coal] is coming out of the land of Thar today and electricity is being generated from this black gold,” he added.
Bilawal stressed that the PPP wanted to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan. “Our effort is to bring back the lost position to the country through foreign policy. We have pursued the politics of love and hope under the leadership of Asif Zardari,” he said.
Narrating several initiatives of Zardari’s presidency, Bilawal mentioned the passing of the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment, start of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), laying of the foundation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, ending the era of political prisoners and ensuring media freedom.
After the martyrdom of the late Benazir Bhutto, Zardari said Pakistan Khappay [we want Pakistan]. He could’ve said “I wanted revenge,” he said. “He [Zardari] stops us from raising the slogan of “Ek Zardari Sab Par Bhari” [one Zardari prevails upon all], but he says that “Ek Zardari Sab se Yari” [one Zardari is friendly with everyone].
On a personal note, he said, he could also have said that his mother, grandfather and uncles had been martyred so “attack the presidency”, but, he added, “Benazir Bhutto never taught us the politics of hate. She believed in unity. Therefore, I said democracy is the best revenge.”
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