Bilawal says 18th Amendment, democracy ‘under attack’ | Pakistan Today

Bilawal says 18th Amendment, democracy ‘under attack’

–Parliamentary, judicial forums can be used to protect free speech, PPP chief tells journos

–Bilawal jokes he’ll marry after considering its impacts on party’s election campaign

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari inquired on Saturday that if other institutions can strengthen themselves then why can’t the parliament do so, adding that his party may even consider a long march to protect the 18th Amendment of the constitution.

Speaking at the Karachi Press Club, the PPP leader said that the 18th Amendment and democracy are under attack from all corners.

“We won’t let anything happen to the 18th Amendment. We can even go for a long march to protect it,” he said.

Bilawal said that the country needs to fight for the right to freedom of expression, adding that “we can use parliamentary and judicial forums for it.”

The PPP leader remarked that if the ruling party cannot even tolerate the speech of Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif then how can it run the government.

“Only the elected representatives should have the right to make decisions for the future of the country,” he said.

Bilawal said the PTI’s claim to have at least 200 talented people in its cadres was a blatant lie.

He said, “Special facilities were provided to PM’s sister Aleema Khan in the new budget. They should rather use the parliamentary forum rather than retorting to verbal abuses.

In October 2018, the federal government had announced to give appropriate three per cent share to erstwhile FATA in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award by reducing the share of the provinces, prompting the Sindh government to accuse Imran Khan-led government of exceeding its authority.

Consequently, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had called for revisiting the NFC criteria. CM Murad was presiding over a preparatory meeting for the forthcoming NFC meeting that will be held in Islamabad on February 6.

BILAWAL’S MARRIAGE PLANS:

In candid remarks, Bilawal said he was considering how his marriage in the future can help the PPP’s election campaign.

“I am considering how my marriage can help the party’s election campaign,” he said in response to a question.

Without naming anyone, the PPP chairman said consultations were underway to decide the right time for his wedding.

“Meetings are being held; should I get married once or four times one each in all four provinces … consultations are also underway to decide whether I should get married before or during the election campaign,” he remarked.

The PPP leader joked the final decision about his marriage will be taken after receiving the findings of a report on “impact of marriage on election results”.

This is not the first instance the PPP chief has spoken about his wedding plans.

Last year, he had said that he would tie the knot just once unlike some other politicians who are “habitual grooms”.

“I don’t wish to get married one after another like some other politicians,” he said in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan.



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