Thursday, January 05, 2023
Rejecting the demand for snap polls and reports of a long-term caretaker setup, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Thursday that his party was neither in favour of early nor delayed general elections.
Addressing a press conference following a meeting of the PPP's Central Executive Committee (CEC) in Lahore, Bilawal said his party would prepare a code of conduct for all political parties.
In this regard, the foreign minister said that his party would contact all the ruling and opposition parties.
Reacting to Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s statement wherein he ruled out following Governor Baligh-ur-Rehman's orders for taking a vote of confidence and termed the directions "illegal", the PPP leader said that Elahi has to take the confidence vote if he wished to continue holding the top provincial office.
Berating the incumbent government in Punjab, the foreign minister said that the real estate mafia has been given a "free hand" in the province.
"In the past, Usman Buzdar was doing corruption for Gogi and now Parvez Elahi is playing the same role," the PPP chairman alleged.
Bilawal also claimed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was well-aware that his party could not form its government sans the establishment's support.
“Imran Khan knows that he cannot come into power without the help of the establishment. In this stage of life, he should become a democratic man,” he added.
The PPP chairman also hit back at the PTI for online criticism of his recent visit to the flood-affected families in Sindh. "We went there for children, not politics. The children were happy to meet us."
Last month, the foreign minister ruled out the possibility of early elections, saying that it was important for the assemblies to complete their term for the democracy's survival.
Speaking during an interview with Doha-based Al-Jazeera, Bilawal said that the PTI chairman's demand for early elections was a political agenda.
He said that the coalition parties were working together to solve the issues, adding that a deteriorated economy was passed on by the previous government to the incumbent one.
"The former government's failed foreign policy has isolated us from the entire world," said the foreign minister. He added that the incumbent government was looking for solutions to internal problems and consensus at the international level.
Although the coalition parties have time and again rejected the demand for early elections, the PTI has stressed that holding snap polls was the only solution for the country's ongoing crisis.
As a result of the political turmoil, Pakistan's stock market has shed a lot of volume and value, the currency hit record lows, the foreign exchange reserves have plunged to eight-year lows, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme has hit a snag.