Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday said it was for the ‘first time’ that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had been made accountable and presented before the court.
Bilawal was replying to a statement reportedly made by Sharif before the joint investigation team (JIT) on Thursday that it was not the first time he was being held accountable as in 1972 such an event had taken place.
“It was not accountability, only nationalisation,” said Bilawal, while addressing party workers at the residence of PPP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Humayun Khan. “Nawaz Sharif is misleading the public by saying that he was also made accountable in 1972 because at that time he was not even in politics,” he said.
The PPP chairman accused the Sharif family of looting the country for years and never making themselves accountable to the public. “Mian Sahib you would consider it against your stature to present yourself before the court,” he said.
Calling the current leadership incapable of rescuing the country from the current ‘gigantic’ challenges, he said, “They only know how to expand their own wealth.”
He took the government to task for labelling the people protesting against power outages as thieves, and said, “Mian Sahib you are a thief as you are not even giving the people net hydel profit. Sindh is not getting its share in natural gas, the National Finance Commission Award is not being provided while small provinces still have reservations over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).” Bilawal claimed that it was his party that had envisioned the CPEC for the people of K-P and Balochistan “as they have sacrificed for the peace of the country”.
He supported a demand from the families of the Army Public School victims for a judicial commission to probe the tragedy in which 141 people, including 132 children, were killed by terrorists.
Criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for not arresting the killers of Mashal Khan, he said, “Mashal’s father told me today [Friday] that his family is being threatened.”
He said his party would always stand by Mashal’s family and strive to provide them justice. The PPP would also arrange a seminar to discuss the brutal murder of Mashal, he added.
“I am really impressed by how the young doctors are struggling for their rights. They are struggling to stop the privatisation of national hospitals. They are struggling to provide best healthcare facilities to the public,” said the PPP chairman during his address to the gathering. “We are with you in your war for rights,” he assured the young doctors.
The Young Doctors Association, which has set up a protest camp, also met Bilawal and told him about their issues. He praised the young doctors for maintaining democratic norms.
Talking about Imran Khan, Bilawal said his change was limited to twitter. “There is no peace, no basic human rights and no justice for the poor … Imran Khan you are lying, you are misleading the public with false propaganda,” he said.
Regarding the next general election, he announced party conventions to be held at the divisional level to revive the party at the grass-root level. He also announced release of the PPP manifesto after Eidul Fitr.
“The PPP is united … we will stand and fight the election with full unity,” he declared, asking the party workers and leaders at the divisional level to prepare for mobilising the people for the next general elections.
And speaking in Karachi, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah said the government was mounting pressure on the judiciary to get a decision in favour of the prime minister and his family in the Panamagate case.
“Since the Panamagate case initiated and the JIT started its proceedings, a federal minister and the PML-N leadership started threatening judges, which is a condemnable act,” Khursheed told newsmen outside the Sindh Assembly on Friday.
“The prime minister should have resigned till the time the JIT had finalised its probe and the apex court had announced its decision,” he said.
When asked about the statement of Qatari prince, he said, “The Qatari prince should come to Pakistan to record his statement and it should not be the other way around.”
He reiterated that apparently the prime minister was no longer sadiq (truthful) and amin (trustworthy) because he had lost his credibility from day one when he, along with his family, was implicated in the Panamagate case. “The prime minister is talking about appearing in court. If he is trustworthy then I would suggest him to dissolve the assembly and present himself in the court of the people,” he said. “If I were the prime minister, I would tender my resignation till the investigation into the Panamagate case was completed.”
“If it had been the PPP government instead of PML-N’s, then its prime minister would have landed in jail. All actions are against the PPP,” he said.
Talking about the Sindh government’s performance, the opposition leader said that many development schemes had been initiated in various districts of Sindh, and the PPP had broken all past records in carrying out development work.