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Anti-Nawaz drive if four points not accepted by Dec 27, says Bilawal

Anti-Nawaz drive if four points not accepted by Dec 27, says Bilawal

LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday repeated his recent statement that he had never called Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a traitor and cautioned a reporter against trying to put words in his mouth.

The PPP leader had to restrain the reporter when the latter insisted that Mr Bhutto-Zardari had at least once stated so. “If you have the video [of such a statement], you can show me the one,” he told the reporter, and reminded him: “I never take u-turns.”

Mr Bhutto-Zardari was speaking to journalists in his Naudero House where MNA Faryal Talpur, Senior Minister for Food Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Agriculture Miniser Suhail Anwar Siyal were also present.

In very clear terms, the PPP chief said: “I never take u-turns and will never do this in future, nor will my party do this.”

He said [his senior party colleague] Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan was a senior lawyer who had moved the Panama leaks bill in the Senate after most opposition parties agreed on it. “I simply ask him (Nawaz Sharif) to get my bill pas­s­ed,” he said, and asked: “What is undemocratic in demanding this?”.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari warned that if the bill did not get through the parliament till Dec 27 — the 9th death anniversary of his mother, Benazir Bhutto — then there would be Damadum mast qalandar [a political offensive].

Referring to the four-point demand made to Mr Sharif by him while addressing the Oct 16 rally in Karachi, he recalled that the ‘Go Nawaz Go’ slogan was first raised by the assassinated prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, in 1996, and added that now it would be the masses who had the right to start raising it again.

Explaining the political offensive, he said a series of rallies and protests would be held to force the prime minister to step down. The prime minister must not have forgotten how forceful was the ‘Go Nawaz Go’ drive when it was launched by Ms Bhutto and what it had led to.

The PPP chairman criticised PM Sharif for inviting his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, whom Mr Bhutto-Zardari called the “butcher of Gujarat”, to a wedding ceremony at his [Mr Sharif’s] home and now objecting to his [Modi’s] visits to Saudi Arabia or other Middle East states.

Mr Sharif also failed to plead Pakistan’s case over Kashmir at international forums forcefully, he said. Opposing the federal government’s moves to shift the State Bank and PIA offices to Lahore, Mr Bhutto-Zardari reminded Mr Sharif that he was the prime minister of the country and not a province. Such steps were against the spirit of democracy and the 18th Constitutional amendment; he [the PM] should ensure an equal treatment to all federating units, he added.

Names for Sindh PPP chief slot short-listed

The PPP chairman announced that an announcement about who would head the Sindh chapter of the party would be made on Thursday (Oct 20) in Karachi. He told the reporters that the names of Syed Qaim Ali Shah [who held the position until recently], Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Moula Bukhsh Chandio were recommended.

He said the process of reorganising the PPP had been started about six months back by the coordination committees set up after dissolution of the party’s organisational structure.

The committees held party workers’ conventions to seek their choices and the process had now been completed. He said he had also completed consultations with members of the party’s central executive committee, federal council and senior colleagues in the light of workers’ aspirations.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that once the party’s Sindh chief was appointed, the names of those division and district heads would also be announced, most probably within the next few weeks.

In reply to a question about the strength of the party’s Oct 16 Shuhada rally, he said around one million people participated in it to gave a clear message to the world that they stood against terrorism.

He said the the [2007] Karsaz carnage was the most devastating incident of terrorism ever targeted against a political party in the world. “It was like the 9/11,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2016

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