GARHI KHUDA BUX: Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sunday lashed out at PML-N government, claiming that the ruling party is using the National Action Plan (NAP) to victimize opponents instead of curbing terrorism and militancy.
Addressing a rally at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to mark the 8th death anniversary of his mother, Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal said the federal government was using the NAP to attack provinces.
“This is not the NAP agreed to by all parties, this is the N-league action plan, whose target are political opponents.”
“The public asks you when will targeting of provinces under NAP end. Which major terrorist or abettor has been nabbed under NAP?”
Bilawal also accused the PML-N of reviving the tradition of revenge-based politics in Pakistan by resorting to the “target killing of PPP workers.”
“The history of PPP’s target killing is very old. It all started with the formation of the PPP when its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was killed,” he said.
The PPP chairman questioned why the Model Town incident in 2014 was not labelled as terrorism. “Who ordered the police back then? Who was the police abetting?”
Bilawal said politics of revenge had resurfaced, with allegations of terrorism being hurled at the PPP once again.
“Do our dead in Garhi Khuda Baksh not vindicate us?” questioned Bilawal pointing towards the tombs of his mother and grandfather.
“When you were in talks with terrorists, we were against them. We never had a soft corner for them.” He said only the PPP had sacrificed lives to fight terror and no one could “threaten us into silence.” The PPP chairman said his party had been a victim of target killing for years, pointing out the murders of Salmaan Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Benazir Bhutto and the “judicial murder of Zulfiqar Bhutto.”
“Even in the 2013 elections we were targeted and that killing is still continuing.”
He also criticised the PML-N government for “auctioning off the Pakistan Steel Mills and PIA.” “Cut down on your luxurious spending and stop this economic assassination of the masses.” “We will raise voice against PML-N’s policies in parliament. And we will go to peoples’ court if we are ignored.”
Bilwal also took on the federal government for “taking decisions behind closed doors.”
“What kind of democracy is this, where orders are passed on from Islamabad and decisions are taken behind closed doors? This is not the democracy my mother sacrificed her life for.”
Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, addressing the rally, attacked Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, saying “one man cannot overrule the Sindh Assembly resolution.”
An animated Shah said the Constitution empowered the Sindh Assembly and the National Assembly and it was undemocratic for one man (Chaudhry Nisar) to set aside a legislature’s wishes.
“We want democracy and a parliamentary system, where one man’s decision will not govern all.” Shah said he had asked the prime minister to keep a check on his ministers, especially Chaudhry Nisar, who “wants to take over Sindh.”
“Sindh is now peaceful, and he [Nisar] should look at other provinces.”
The chief minister said just one institution should not be credited for peace in Sindh. “It was possible after help from the people of Sindh.” Shah said his government had been co-operating with the army chief and the premier but warned that “no advantage should be taken.”
Former interior minister Rehman Malik also spoke at the ceremony, saying the slain PPP leader was never bought and she did not surrender until her last breath. “People accuse her of things she did not do. I’m telling you today that BB never signed the NRO,” he said. Among other the gathering was also addressed by senior PPP leaders Manzoor Watto, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Rehman Malik.