GHARI KHUDA BAKHSH/LARKANA: Young chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Sunday lashed out at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, claiming that the ruling party is using National Action Plan (NAP) to victimise opponents instead of curbing terrorism and militancy.
“This is not that real action plan all political parties had agreed upon, instead, this is Noon League’s action plan which is being used to target political opponents,” claimed the PPP leader while addressing thousands of his supporters at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh.
The large public meeting was organized to mark 8th death anniversary of slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto at ancestral graveyard of Bhuttos near Larkana city of Sindh.
The gathering was also addressed by senior PPP leaders Manzoor Wattoo, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Rehman Malik, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and others.
In his emotionally charged speech, Bilawal said PPP puts its full weight behind the NAP but the action plan ‘you are working on’ is not the one to which all the political parties had given their go ahead.
“What is the National Action Plan to you other than a tool for political victimization,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said.
“Tell me which key terrorist or their abettor was nabbed under the action plan?” he asked the government, adding, the rulers have a soft corner for the terrorists. He said ‘this is not a national action plan but an N-League action plan’.
“Our army men are embracing martyrdom on one hand while the people of Waziristan are displaced”, he said. “Mian sahib, tell us which major terrorist or terror facilitator has been arrested till date”.
The PPP chairman questioned why the Model Town incident in 2014 was not labeled 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 Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Bhatti, Benazir Bhutto and the “judicial murder of Zulfiqar Bhutto.”
He said slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gave her life but did not surrender before terrorists. “The democracy in Pakistan is result of my mother’s blood”, he said.
“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.”
“Does anyone sell mother’s jewellery to make ends meet?” he asked. “I and PPP cannot remain silent on people’s economic murder”.
He said people of Pakistan weren’t given benefits despite reduction in oil prices on a global level. “We will raise voice against PML-N’s policies in parliament. And we will go to peoples’ court if we are ignored, the PPP leader vowed.”
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.”
He demanded NAP be handed over to the Parliament’s security committee, adding that they will go to the people’s court if they are not heard “and then there will be Dam Mast Qalander”. Bilawal said PPP’s ‘target killing’ began with the ‘judicial murder’ of party’s founder and Pakistan’s former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, adding that it continues even today. He said Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto were also subjected to party’s target killing.
He said ‘target killing’ against PPP continued over the matter of empowering provinces as per 18th Amendment, adding that the party faced ‘target killing’ in 2013 elections through Taliban and Returning Officers (ROs).
Addressing the rally, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah also attacked Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, saying “one man cannot overrule the Sindh Assembly resolution.”
“I have revealed it six months ago that they are going to grab Sindh. I believe that Chaudhry sahib wants to takeover Sindh…,” Shah said, without naming Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, in his address to a large number of Pakistan Peoples Party workers at Garhi Khuda Bukhsh town of Sindh.
“We have served Sindh…. In democracy, one person’s decision can’t be enforced,” said Shah at the public meeting organized to mark 8th death anniversary of slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto at ancestral graveyard of Bhuttos.
The gathering was also addressed by senior PPP leaders Manzoor Watto, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raja Pervez Ashraf and others.
“Some elements want to weaken PPP and take advantage of peace in Karachi that was forged with our commitment. We are thankful to Prime Minister and army chief who strengthened us, but this is not any single person’s achievement,” he said.
“No one can put aside Sindh assembly’s decisions,” said Shah, amid a charged atmosphere and slogans of jiay Bhutto (long live Bhutto). NNI