Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday challenged Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif to a televised debate ahead of the upcoming general elections to provide insight to voters of their respective plans for the country.
“I invite the P.M. candidate of PMLN, Nawaz Sharif, to engage in a debate with me anytime, anywhere before Feb. 8,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Globally, presidential and prime ministerial candidates participate in a televised debates, providing voters with crucial insights into their plans. This transparency is vital for an informed electorate ahead of the voting process,” added the PPP’s nominated candidate for the next Prime Minister of Pakistan.
The PPP leader, formerly a member of PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif’s federal cabinet in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, has ramped up his criticism of the rival party in the ongoing election campaign, maintaining the choice is between the “tiger” (PMLN’s electoral symbol) and the “arrow” (PPP’s electoral symbol.).
As part of this drive, Bhutto-Zardari has staged a number of rallies across Punjab, alternating between exhorting PPP and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters to vote him into power and slamming Sharif for seeking a fourth term in office. The PPP leader has repeatedly accused the PMLN of delaying the launch of its election campaign; not providing a manifesto; and attempting to return to power through “facilitation” of the establishment.
In contrast, he has claimed, he has a 10-point agenda to “fix” the country that includes withdrawing subsidies for the “elite” and utilizing those funds for the impoverished; providing free electricity through solar power to consumers using up to 300 units/month; building 3 million homes for the poor; and providing free healthcare facilities nationwide.