Bilawal warns of protest campaign after Ramazan


by Imran Ayub
KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari announced on Wednesday that a protest campaign would be launched “in streets and in parliament” against the government after Ramazan over growing inflation, worsening economic conditions and poor governance.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan was a “culprit of the nation” who had staged “economic murder of poor people” and demanded an apology from him for wasting eight months of the nation.

Addressing a rally in Karachi’s Quaidabad area which was organised in connection with Labour Day, the PPP chairman criticised the government’s economic policy and called it a failure of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and its leadership which had not been able to set its direction even after eight months. In the same vein, he asked for an apology from the prime minister for making false claims and fake promises that raised hopes among the nation but gave it only unemployment, inflation and fast-declining economic condition.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari again warned the government of strong reaction from his party not only in the case of the 18th Amendment rollback but also if any deal was made with the International Monetary Fund without taking the parliament into confidence.

“My friends, we are entering the holy month of Ramazan next week when we would hold small-scale political activities,” he said while concluding his about 40-minute speech before a large crowd, including women and children.

“But be ready as after Ramazan we would be in the streets. We would be staging protest in and outside parliament. They [the PTI government] should be answerable for this inflation and injustice and we would make them answer the nation.”

“You [PM Khan] admitted your failure when you removed your finance minister,” he said. “You have confessed that you are incompetent and sheer failure. You have brought a tsunami of inflation and injustice. But we would not let you escape from here. You should apologise to this nation for wasting their eight months in the name of change, fake promises and false claims.”

The PPP leader warned that the government would have to face a strong reaction from the poor because of its wrong economic policies. He said that the people were facing a sharp increase in the prices of essential items at a time when Ramazan was approaching.

“Where is a Ramazan pac­kage of the government?” he asked and demanded that the government provide some relief to people.

The PPP chairman also criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying that it was being used for political victimisation. Quoting last week’s statement of his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, he said that NAB and economic growth could not go together.

“The government is using the law which was introduced by dictator Musharraf to victimise the political opponents,” he said. “Do they think that we would be scared of their tactics? We cannot be pressurised with such moves and we are determined to challenge every dictatorial mindset.”

He also held the Mutta­hida Qaumi Move­ment-Pakistan responsible for the recent state of Sindh affairs which had been dep­rived of funds from the centre, saying that the party had entered into an alliance with those forces which had “robbed Karachi”.courtesy Dawn.