SUKKUR: Commenting on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan’s recent remarks regarding the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), its chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Friday that Mr Khan had claimed that he would never vote for the PPP, but his own party did that in the Senate elections recently, and now he has started denying that. “The ink stain on your thumb with which you voted for our vice chairperson candidate hasn’t even dried yet… we hope you will continue to support us in the future too,” he quipped.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari continued to lash out at the PTI chief, saying that Mr Khan was a hypocrite for condemning corruption even though he was surrounded by “politicians convicted of corruption”.
The mainstream political parties had ever done politics only to serve the country’s elite, whereas the PPP had always spoken for the country’s underclass, he said, adding that the PTI and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were pushing ahead with an aggressive privatisation agenda.
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Addressing party workers and supporters in Ghotki, the PPP chairperson thanked the constituents of PS-7, Ghotki, for voting for Abdul Bari Pitafi, the PPP candidate, in the by-election held last month.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari visited Raja Mahar House, Adil Pur, Jam House and Bari Pitafi House in Mirpur Mathelo and Khalid Abad in Ghotki.
“All political parties in the country had opposed us in this election… the political orphans of Sindh and the rest of the country’s political trash had decided to give us a tough time, but the people of Ghotki proved that they had stood by (PPP founding chairperson) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and are now with Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari,” he said.
He said this was but a trailer of what would unfold in Sindh in the upcoming general elections, when the PPP’s political slogans will ring from every polling station.
The country’s political elite made policies and launched loan and tax amnesty schemes only to benefit the rich, but the PPP had always stood for the rights of the poor, he added. “Zulfiqar Bhutto had snatched away land from large landowners and distributed it among the poor,” he claimed, adding that Z.A. Bhutto had built national institutions to benefit the masses.
The PPP chairman said the PML-N government was working only for their rich friends and they were taking away “your IA and Steel Mills and giving them to their friends”.
Responding to a comment regarding continuing unscheduled loadshedding of up to 18 hours in rural Sindh, Mr Bhutto-Zardari expressed sympathy and said the summer season was approaching and it was possible that the situation would further worsen. “The PML-N had promised an end to loadshedding… they had made this claim again during the winter when demand for electricity was low, but as soon as the first signs of summer began their fraud was exposed,” he said, adding that the PPP was looking at alternative energy and preferred to take a holistic approach to the problem of the energy crisis.
He said the Sindh government was working on a coal power plant as well as wind, gas and solar energy projects.
“Other provinces need to step up too,” he added.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2018