Sunday, January 03, 2021

Bilawal demands PTI govt implement NAP, says PDM not asking for relief

Bilawal says if the govt did its job instead of “making noise over PDM”, then incidents like the one in Machh might be avoided

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari speaks to the media in Karachi, Pakistan.

  • PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari says PDM seeks "democracy, a level playing field, and an end to unemployment, inflation, and poverty"
  • Rubbishes Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed's comments that the PPP had "won" after the PDM "accepted defeat"
  • Condemns Machh coal mine incident, says “major terrorists are escaping” and culprits of APS attack were “let go”

SUKKUR/THATTA: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Sunday said if the interior minister and the federal government did their jobs instead of “doing politics and making noise over PDM”, then incidents like the one in Balochistan's Machh coal mine might be avoided.

Bilawal condemned Sunday’s incident — in which armed men kidnapped and shot dead at least 11 colliers — demanding that the PTI regime implement the National Action Plan (NAP) and bring it into action.

Read more: 11 colliers killed as armed men attack coal miners in Balochistan's Machh

The NAP has been forgotten ever since the incumbent government came to power, he remarked, adding that “major terrorists are escaping” and that culprits involved in the Army Public School (APS) attack were also “let go”.

"Innocent people are being left at the mercy of these terrorists. No investigations are being conducted nor is anyone being caught,” the PPP chief alleged.

The PPP chief made the comments during a visit to the Shirazi House in Thatta, where he, alongside Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, and Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal offered condolences to late Syed Ijaz Ali Shah Shirazi's brother, Syed Shafqat Shah Shirazi, on the former provincial adviser's demise.

PDM 'not asking for relief'

Bilawal said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — an anti-government coalition of almost a dozen Opposition parties — never asked for any kind of "relief" and that it instead sought "democracy, a level playing field, and an end to unemployment, inflation, and poverty".

He was responding to a reporter's question about the PTI regime's stance that the PDM was formed only to "seek an NRO-like concession" — referring to the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which both the ruling party and the Opposition coalition claim that the other is demanding.

Related: What does NRO mean? Revisiting the history of the infamous ordinance

The government only brought up the NRO when it had no answer to the PDM's criticism but the people can "clearly see through these tactics", he said.

Addressing questions regarding any disagreements between the PDM and PPP, he said his party's Central Executive Committee (CEC) endorsed every move by the PDM. Decisions regarding contesting the upcoming by-elections or any other elections would be made from the Opposition coalition's platform "with consensus", he emphasised.

The PPP chairperson also rubbished Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad's comments from a day earlier when the latter had claimed the PPP had "won" after the PDM "accepted defeat".

"The PDM's win is the PPP's win and the PPP's win is the PDM's win, so we are one. When the PDM wins, the people of Pakistan win," he said.

'Incompetent administration'

He said the PTI government had extended amnesty schemes only for the  construction "mafias" but was not ready to provide relief to the labourers, the poor, and the white-collar individuals. "The inefficient and incompetent administration of Prime Minister Imran Khan would be sent to home with the public's power," he added.

Referring to the premier's comments on the government's "preparation", as well as a smooth transition between governments through briefings, he said PM Imran Khan kept"admitting" over and over again he was on training wheels with no experience of being in power.

Related: PM Imran Khan says 'never made any excuses that I was not prepared'

If the premier did not have the required experience, "then he should leave his [position of] power because he has no solution to the [people's] problems", Bilawal said.

He added that since the PTI held a sit-in at Islamabad's Aabpara Chowk, the PDM, too, would have to hold its protest there.

Bilawal underscored that if the prime minister and his Sindh government resigned, a political path — which included a national dialogue option — could be pondered upon.