Bilawal vows to continue mission of his mother

Published: October 18, 2014
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Bilawal waves to supporters from atop his container. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Bilawal waves to supporters from atop his container. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

As workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) streamed into the city from across the country for Saturday’s show of political strength, Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he has come to “continue the mission of his mother and grandfather”.

Arrangements were finalised for the PPP’s rally at Mazar-e-Quaid which will commemorate the deadly bombing on the homecoming rally of Benazir Bhutto, on October 18, 2007. Bilawal will address the gathering which is being described as ‘historic’ by PPP leaders, and kick off his political career. According to sources, Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari will also make an important announcement at the rally about his party’s future strategy.

Before shifting to his container on Friday, Bilawal addressed PPP workers and supporters from the roof of Bilawal House. It is the same but refurbished bulletproof container in which Benazir had travelled on October 18, 2007 when her massive rally was targeted with a huge bomb.

In an emotional speech, Bilawal called himself the successor of the Bhutto family and the protector of the country. “I’ve come to continue the mission of my mother and grandfather [ZA Bhutto]… It is my priority to resolve people’s issues and make this country prosperous,” he added.

The PPP chairman called himself a true patriotic Pakistani and said his party was the only true democratic party in the country. “Today, as I stand on this container, I want to continue the journey to protect democratic values and strengthen the country. This journey was started by my mother on October 18, 2007,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Bilawal visited the grave of a 19th century Sindhi freedom fighter in Hyderabad district before coming to Karachi. In the sleepy village of Budho Siyal, Bilawal paid his respect to Hosh Muhammad Sheedi – the Talpur army general who had fought to the death against the British colonial power.

A large number of PPP workers and supporters have already reached Karachi from across the country. The party has arranged their accommodation at the KMC Sports Complex and other places.

“We can’t give you an exact figure, but hundreds of thousands of people from all over Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will participate in the rally which will start at 3pm,” said the secretary general of PPP’s Sindh chapter, Taj Haider. “It will be PPP’s biggest event since Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming rally in 2007, which was attacked while passing through the Karsaz area.”

Special trains from Punjab, other cities of Sindh and the rest of the country carrying PPP supporters are set to arrive in Karachi today (Saturday). Over 22,000 vehicles carrying party activists will be coming from just rural Sindh, sources said.

“Around 4,000 vehicles have already reached Thatta district,” PPP MPA Owais Muzaffar told The Express Tribune on Friday. “Karachi has always been PPP’s fort and the Mazar-e-Quaid rally will prove which party is the biggest in Pakistan,” he said.

Muzaffar added that despite the attacks carried out on the PPP in the past, more than 2,000 of the party’s ‘janisars’ (diehard activists) will be providing security for the Mazar-e-Quaid gathering. “Every PPP leader is ready to sacrifice his life,” he added.

A total of 150,000 chairs have been placed inside and outside Bagh-e-Quaid, and a two-kilometre area around the venue has been sealed off with the help of shipping containers.

A spokesperson for the central police office said some 22,500 policemen will be deployed for the rally’s security. Around 200 sharpshooters would also be deployed on rooftops of buildings in the vicinity, he said. “The venue of the rally and all routes leading to it will be monitored by the police through CCTV cameras,” the spokesman added.

Before the event begins, Fateha and Quran Khwani will be held at the 2007 Karsaz blast site.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • OS
    Oct 18, 2014 - 6:29AM

    And the corruption continues…………..

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  • oBSERVER
    Oct 18, 2014 - 7:49AM

    This means trouble for Pakistan.We all know what was her mission. Letter to Galbraith is available on the net.

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  • Igloo
    Oct 18, 2014 - 7:57AM

    If they have to bring supporters from other parts of the country then what was the point of having the rally in Karachi?

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  • Muneer
    Oct 18, 2014 - 8:56AM

    The refurbished container is a criminal case property in the terrorism case of 18 Oct 2007 and a basic and key evidence.How has this been handed over to PPP by the Sindh Police?.A very important piece of evidence have been tempered with and destroyed.It speaks of PPP apathy towards Benazir,hundereds of workers who were killed and injured.It also indicate their scant respect for Law.What a shame?.It is futile to accept anything good from Peoples Party and its leadership.

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  • Muneer Ahmed
    Oct 18, 2014 - 9:07AM

    Already PTI supporters are feeling nervous, seems like conducting huge rallies isn’t a sign of Naya Pakistan only, it is also no replacement of election either.

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  • Muneer Ahmed
    Oct 18, 2014 - 9:10AM

    @Igloo:
    Just like there wasn’t any point of IK gathering his supporters from all over Pakistan to Lahore.

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  • AAA
    Oct 18, 2014 - 11:04AM

    Means more Pakistani money will be deposited in Swiss banks.

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  • Oct 18, 2014 - 11:04AM

    @Igloo: So many weeks in the preparation and what do we get? Another traffic jam, roads blocked, transport going off the roads, and the anxiety of violence. What has the PPP done ever since it was formed in 1967? Go PPP go! Go Nawaz go! Salams

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  • Timorlane
    Oct 18, 2014 - 10:39PM

    Rs. 2 billion of government (public) money spent. Thousands of policemen deployed. Deputy Commissioners, Waderas and Patwaris all were ordered to herd the serfs from interior Sind feudal lands to Karachi. Nearly all the hoardings were occupied without any payment to “adorn” them with the motivational message yet the public meeting is not even half in people’s participation to Imran Khan’s public meeting at the same venue. Go Bilawal Zardari Go.

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  • Oct 18, 2014 - 11:50PM

    @Muneer:
    After 7 years they are still looking at evidence?? How much longer?
    You are pathetic. Go take a walk.

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  • Oct 19, 2014 - 12:01AM

    During two of Mohtarma’s missions, she was able to relieve
    the Exchequer from $1.5 billion. That’s what investigators, sharp,
    with all the tools and connections to unidentified AND identified
    banks [oreign and domestic] officials were able to determine.
    They say the tally was very likely, more than $2 billion [US].
    Baby Bhutto will keep these missions alive?? Maybe, with Papa’s
    help.

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  • asim
    Oct 19, 2014 - 12:17AM

    sorry to say ppp is and will be a complete failure. Don’t they see they have benefited from the Britishers who gave Bhutto’s father the title of Sir, for what for his loyalty to the crown and the queen. this party has been the worst for Pakistan. No development but loot and lawlessness. If Bilawal is so good he should end the feudal system and stamp corruption. Sindh is dying because of this party. Shame, shame and more shame.

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