Home Latest News Bilawal Questions PTI’s Commitment to Constitution amid Calls for Dialogue with Military

Bilawal Questions PTI’s Commitment to Constitution amid Calls for Dialogue with Military

PPP chairman warns opposition party will face consequences if it refuses to apologize for the May 9 riots

by Staff Report

File photo of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addressing the Lower House

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of committing terrorism on May 9, 2023, and questioned the party’s commitment to the Constitution over its persistent demands for dialogue with the military.

“No one should be permitted to commit terrorism,” he said in an address on the floor of the National Assembly. “The opposition leadership committed terrorism on May 9 by disrespecting the monuments of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country,” he said amidst protests from the opposition, primarily lawmakers of the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

“They negate what they say with their politics,” he said, criticizing the PTI, adding the party claimed to be fighting for the supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law, and real independence, but had repeatedly asserted they only wanted dialogue with the military establishment. Expressing his dismay at the opposition’s “non-serious attitude,” he accused it of not believing in democracy or the Constitution, adding they would rather “weep” about their personal problems. Urging them to avoid “double standards” in their politics, he claimed they “know whose feet they have to touch to serve their interests.”

Recalling that the opposition’s leadership kept claiming the establishment should not have any role in politics, he accused it of wanting to drag the military into the political sphere. He said members of the opposition benches were weeping about their leader, adding he [Imran Khan] was himself crying and begging to be brought out of jail. He advised the opposition to provide input for the upcoming budget as the country was passing through an economic crisis.

“If they are getting salary, will they justify it by playing positive role in Parliament instead of weeping about their own problems,” he asked. He also criticized the PTI’s decision to pick Ali Amin Gandapur as the chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, noting they had earlier given the “gift” of Usman Buzdar to Punjab.

Stressing the PPP had been struggling to strengthen democratic institutions for three generations and this struggle for Pakistan would continue, he lamented the opposition’s protest against his speech, maintaining it sent the wrong message to the public and those witnessing the session.

Praising his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, for focusing on national issues in his speech, he said as the representative of the federation, the president had prioritized public concerns, emphasizing unity, reconciliation, and collective progress. The president, he stressed, had recognized that the solution to Pakistan’s problems lay in dialogue among political forces.

Noting the opposition leader’s speech in response to the president’s was significantly lengthier, he said it would have been better if it had recommended alternatives to government policies rather than lamenting over cases against his leader.

Bhutto-Zardari also demanded the federal government announce special incentives for farmers in the upcoming budget and provide direct relief to small farmers by subsidizing the agriculture sector. He also sought immediate resolution to the wheat import controversy, adding those responsible for it should be held accountable.

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