KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday assailed the PML-N government for “pushing the nation back to the “dark ages” by pursuing peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.
Speaking in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh to commemorate the 35th death anniversary of his grandfather and former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said the mess created by the government by engaging the militants in direct talks will again be washed by the “blood of martyrs” – a reference to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and his mother Benazir Bhutto. Rejecting the dialogue process initiated by the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Bilawal said the terrorists will never succeed in their objectives as long as Bhutto’s grandson is alive.
“This head can be cut but it will never bow down before the oppressors,” he said. The young Zardari said the Taliban were beasts and zaliman (tyrants) and they will never be accepted in society. Accusing the Punjab government of sheltering extremists and terrorists, he said the blind are leading those with eye-sight in the name of peace talks. “How will peace prevail in a country whose biggest province is sheltering the militants?” he questioned. Bilawal urged the masses in Punjab to wake up. Criticising the privatisation policy, he said the government was planning to sell out national assets in the name of privatisation. The PPP chairman urged the chief ministers of Balochistan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to demand their share of assets from the Centre.
He also condemned the government for not taking the nation into confidence over the $1.5 billion “friendly aid”. Speaking on the occasion, former president Asif Ali Zardari emphasised the importance of inter-sect harmony in the country and urged the government to engage all political forces on the matter. He dedicated the evening to his son Bilawal amid popular chants and slogans.
“If government cannot run the country, does this mean we should sell it?” Bilawal asked. He also questioned what price Pakistan had to pay for the money given by a friendly country. He said those who want to rob the country in the name of privatisation are not friends. “The government has left the nation as professional beggars,” he remarked. The PPP chief said that unlike the Punjab government his party’s government will not remain silent on the demolition of temples. “Harming and burning minorities’ worship places is not Islam,” he said, adding that the army is honourable and not anyone’s private property.
Bilawal said that it is not wise to muddle in others’ war. Bilawal kept chanting “Khappay khappay Bhutto khappay”. Meanwhile, Asif Ali Zardari claimed that the present government is reaping the benefits of the agreements his government signed with China, US and other international partners, but the energy crises in the country still prevails. Addressing the public gathering, the PPP co-chairman paid rich tribunes to ZA Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto over their sacrifices for the countrymen and for not compromising with the dictators. He eulogised Bilawal for “leading the caravan of Bhutto legacy”. Asif Zardari expressed dissatisfaction over the energy crisis and other issues of development. Other PPP parliamentarians and leaders, including Khursheed Shah, Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Hassan, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, also addressed the event and paid rich tributes to the founder and chairman of PPP Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto on the occasion.
The 35th death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was observed with great reverence and respect at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh and other parts of the country. Hundreds and thousands of party workers and leaders paid rich tributes to the late leader and founder of PPP. Caravans from around the country took part in Quran khawani and Fateha for ZA Bhutto, which was followed by lunger.
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