Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is continuing his pleas to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters to vote for his party, alleging on Sunday the rival party’s leaders in the absence of founder Imran Khan were all “planted.”
Noting that there was “no chance” of Khan being elected prime minister, as he stands disqualified and cannot even contest election, the PPP leader urged the participants of an election rally in Rawalpindi to inform their PTI friends of his party’s struggles for democracy since the time of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Exhorting all voters to act “wisely” and not “emotionally,” he said they should not “waste” their vote and stamp the “arrow”—PPP’s election symbol—to prevent Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif from assuming the premiership for a fourth term. “Use the power of your vote instead of wasting it. You have to stamp on the arrow on Feb. 8 and we will prey on the lion together,” he said.
Slamming Khan for losing the PTI’s “bat” symbol due to his own mistakes, he recalled the party’s leaders would abuse judges one day before appearing before them the next. He also slammed the PMLN, claiming its return to power would be to the detriment of development and progress.
“Majority of the country doesn’t want anyone becoming the prime minister for fourth time,” he said, maintaining only the PPP could steer the country out of crises and restore stability.
He also pledged to format a “truth and reconciliation commission” if his party were voted to power and stressed on the need to tackle terrorism before it takes root once again. “The time has come for us to decide that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Taliban, and we should combat terrorism in all forms,” he said.
Asif Ali Zardari
Separately, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari addressed a public rally in Hub, Balochistan, and urged the participants to advise separatists groups to lay down their arms. “Guide those friends who use the arms: why do you raise the arms, let’s move towards democracy,” he said, stressing this would solve all problems. Maintaining the PPP had never promoted any conflict, he urged the crowd to vote for the PPP on Feb. 8 to have their voices heard and rights ensured.
Maintaining only “genuine political parties and leadership” could resolve the issues the country was facing, he recalled the PPP’s last government had introduced the Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Package and the NFC Award that had increased the budget for Balochistan.