CHITRAL, Aug 5: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Saturday derided and lambasted his two main rivals — Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan — for their “anti-people reactionary policies” and for introducing the “culture of abuse, accusations, intolerance in politics”.
“Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan are two sides of the same coin as both are power hungry and espouse the same retrogressive reactionary ideology,” the PPP chief said while addressing a big public rally of about 10,000 people at a polo ground during his maiden visit to Chitral on Saturday.
He said PPP believes in progressive ideology and wants to make Pakistan a liberal democratic society.
About disqualification of PML-N chief, he said Nawaz to blame for his own follies who wanted to use Articles 62, 63 of the Constitution against his political opponents. He said the law was introduced by a military dictator and is against the spirit of Constitution but Nawaz Sharif did not support PPP moves to abolish the law and now after falling prey to it, the PML-N people are saying they have done a mistake.
Bilawal said corruption is a menace and I believe in accountability but it shouldn’t be selective. We respect the judiciary and expect justice for all but nowadays a new fashion has been introduced in politics. Judges are discussed instead of their verdict.
He demanded across-the-board accountability for all those who had misused authority and were involved in corruption.
Taking a jibe at PTI chief, Bilawal said Imran Khan introduced indecency, use of abusive language for opponents and intolerance in politics.
He questioned IK where is the much-hyped change in KP, where unemployment, poverty and corruption are on the rise; hospitals being privatised.
“The PTI spent Rs600 million in the name of accountability to root out the corruption from the province but what is the outcome?”
He levelled serious allegations against the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, who is involved in mega corruptions.
“His own cabinet members are levelling corruption allegations against Khattak,” he said citing the Tungi Mines and Khyber Bank scams. Bilawal sarcastically questioned Imran Khan why his father was expelled from his job?
He alleged that the kitchen of Imran Khan and the aircraft of Jahangir Tareen are being run from the commission of government contracts.
He also asked why the educated women are deserting PTI, referring to the incident of former PTI member MNA Ayesha Gulalai who left the party after making startling revelations and levelling serious allegations of lewd messages and sexual harassment against Imran Khan and his coterie.
“If you have brought any changes, why the people of KP rejected you in all the by-elections held since 2013.”
Daring Imran Khan, Bilawal said, “2018 will be my first and your last elections”. We will take part in the elections with full force and with a new manifesto. He assured the gathering that if voted to power his party will ensure the provision of free education and healthcare to all.
Bhutto’s second home
He said Chitral is not unfamiliar for him as he considers it as his second home after Larkana. His grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, grandmother Begum Nusrat Bhutto and slain mother Benazir Bhutto would always consider Chitral their second home, he said amid slogans.
He said he felt proud to be among the people of Chitral who had always supported the PPP. He claimed that it was his party which had always given top priority to Chitral and initiated various development projects in the Hindukush mountain region.
He recalled the uplift projects his grandfather, mother and the last PPP government of his father initiated in Chitral including opening of a degree college and a commerce college, setting up of Darush, Garam Chashma power stations, provision of essential commodities such as wheat, cooking oil, sugar and fertilizer on subsidised rates and electricity. Bilawal said the PPP government in 2008 initiated the 106mw Golen Gol power project which is near completion. Lowari tunnel was redesigned from rail to a road tunnel on the directives of his father, former President Asif Zardari.
Rs2 billion loans of small farmers were written off during the last PPP government.
He derided the former Prime Minister Sharif for inaugurating Lowari Tunnel to take credit of the incomplete mega project which was initiated by his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Unveiling the salient points of his election manifesto for 2018, he said, “being a young man, I acknowledge the burgeoning issues of the youth”. He assured them that his party will seek new avenues of employment and spend a major portion of the public money on projects that could create jobs.
He said the scope of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) would be expanded to bring more poor people into the security net if the PPP is voted to power.
GST will be abolished on fertiliser and other Agri inputs. PPP has always made pro-worker policies and raised their minimum wages and if we are voted to power we will raise minimum wages, he promised. ZAB ended class-based education and provided equal opportunity to all. We will continue it and give special emphasis on girls’ education, teacher training institutes.
Central PPP leaders including Khursheed Shah, Farhatullah Babar, Shery Rehman and Nadeem Afzal Chan also accompanied him.
Earlier, PPP MPA Saleem Khan welcomed the party chief and presented him Kalashi gifts. Some 500 personnel of police were deployed to ensure security.