KARACHI: On a day when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) drew massive crowds in Lahore, 45 days into its protest against the government, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari reached out to disgruntled and frustrated supporters and apologised for ‘mistakes.’
“To those whose heart beats with the PPP but feel let down for any reason; first of all, allow me to apologise personally for letting you down.”
Bilawal, in a statement released on Sunday, said that they were not perfect and acknowledged that “mistakes have been made in the past.” However, he added that his party was committed to reforming and re-earning the trust of its supporters.
“The PPP is a democratic party and all internal dissent is welcome,” the statement says in a veiled reference to the way Javed Hashmi was booted out by the PTI leadership. “The best way to influence the PPP party policy is to join us, and bring change to both the party and the country from within.”
In light of disgruntled workers turning towards other political “options,” Bilawal urged them to choose carefully, noting that anyone who claimed to support Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or Benazir Bhutto cannot support either dictatorship or extremism. “If party policy is unacceptable to you, and you are considering joining another party, I would suggest joining pro-democracy and pro-people political parties in Pakistan.”
“Do not punish Pakistan or its democracy for my shortcomings. Please do not support anti-democratic parties or political parties who appease extremism.”
In veiled reference to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PTI he added that Pakistan has enough right wing, dictatorship-loving and TTP-appeasing political parties.
“If you are frustrated with the party, I would like to suggest more productive ways to do legitimate opposition.”
Reaching out to other left wing parties including the Awami National Party, Bilawal said the PPP welcomes and encourages other left wing political parties to join the political process.
“In fact, if any former sympathisers are looking to attend a political event today I would suggest attending the #AWPCongress in Islamabad.”
Bilawal has already announced a rally on October 18 in Karachi. The PPP has also called a central executive committee meeting in Karachi on Monday, September 29, 2014.
Suspend partisan politics till operation ends
In a separate statement, Bilawal urged political parties “suspend aggressive partisan politics until the operation is over and the IDPs return home.”
He pointed out that every opposition party wants free and fair elections and to hold the Sharif government to account.
“The Pakistan People’s Party will continue to play the role of real opposition.”