–Bilawal lashes out at PTI government, says premier making ‘false claims’ of decrease in Covid-19 cases, providing relief to masses via federal budget and POL prices
LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Wednesday said that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was banned from operating flights to European countries because of the accusations of a “minister whose own degree is fake”.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the PPP chief paid tribute to the policemen hailing from Jamshoro, Nawabshah, and other parts of Sindh who displayed courage during the attack on Karachi Stock Exchange (PSX).
He also paid tribute to the policeman who belonged to Lyaari Hassan Baloch and the other brave sons of Sindh. He said that the Sindh government has announced rewards for them all because people are living peacefully in Karachi due to the sacrifices of these martyrs, who have also saved our economy.
He said that Punjab’s young doctors demanded a risk allowance the other day and PPP supports their demand and the doctors, nurses and health workers should all be given a risk allowance. We have provided a risk allowance to all doctors in Sindh but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has not made an increase in the pensions and salaries of the people, he added.
Bilawal said that throughout history, Pakistan has never faced such challenges. “We are combating the locust issue. Floods have been predicted and the PTI makes each issue a disaster such as in the case of Covid-19 and the locust issue which have been made into disasters. The government has increased the issues facing us,” he said.
He also said that the people should be provided with relief by imposing taxes on the rich. “The way that they have dropped a bomb on the people by increasing the petrol price is through an illegal notification which they released and the losses suffered by oil companies are being compensated for through burdening the people. These are all the PTI government’s frontmen and now we are expecting a tsunami of the price hike. In every budget of theirs, there is a pain for the people and relief for the rich,” he said.
“Imran Khan speaks in our absence and does not answer our questions; I had challenged him to a debate on television. The problem with Imran Khan is that he is not ready to be the prime minister of our country but is happy to be that of his own party. We want Imran Khan to sit with us and debate so that he understands what Covid-19 is and what is locust and what are the threats but Imran Khan is a prime minister only on Twitter and Facebook,” he added.
Strongly condemning PM Imran Khan for calling notorious terrorist Osama bin Laden a shaheed (martyr), Bilawal said that he calls a terrorist who killed Pakistani citizens, soldiers, journalists, men, women and children a shaheed.
“Who was behind Yousaf Ramzi, who was behind 1994 failed mutiny, who was behind destruction in Swat?” he asked. “Imran Khan refuses to call Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto a shaheed but calls a terrorist a shaheed. So far, Imran Khan has not clarified his statement and thus, bringing Pakistan to disrepute.”
The PPP chief said that the loss due to Imran Khan plonked as prime minister is the destruction of Pakistan’s foreign policy, economy and failure to combat Covid-19. “Imran Khan is the first prime minister who ran the election campaign of Modi,” he said.
“Imran Khan has become a joke and whenever he opens his mouth, a joke comes out. He has never met representatives of doctors, nurses and labourers. Whenever he met, he met rich people. There is no health or education in his budget. He is only giving relief to his cronies. This budget is a PTIMF budget,” he added.
Bilawal said that Imran attacks the constitution consistently. “He attacks the 18th Amendment because he wants to revert to one-unit. Pakistan will be at a great loss by reverting back to one-unit which means ending the autonomy of the provinces. Imran Khan is against provinces and federation and against those who talk in the interest of the country. Mir Shakeelur Rehman is still languishing in jail without a case against him. Similar is the case of Syed Khursheed Shah who is in jail for no crime but on the other hand, those PTI ministers who have cases against them are free,” he said.
He alleged that the government wants to murder President Asif Ali Zardari. “When President Zardari was in jail he was not provided medicines and today NAB wants him to be infected with Covid-19,” he said. “Zardari has two cases against him, in one case he has an exemption to come to the court and the second case is in which NAB wants him to come to the court. Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was infected with Covid-19 when he appeared before the court in the same case. This government does not respect old people as well as women but rest assured that we will not go back on the 18th Amendment.”
He also said that “PPP does not want any NRO and will face the cases but your cases do not have substance and you are unable to convict us”.
He further said that PM Imran has given several NROs to his “cronies” and the first NRO he gave to his sister Aleema Khan, who has not given her money trail. “Imran Khan introduced amnesty scheme for thieves because he himself is a beneficiary of General Musharraf’s amnesty. He said that the prime minister has many faces but the reality is that he is the biggest hypocrite in the history of the country,” he added.
Bilawal said that the prime minister’s boasts about money given to poor people through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) which was introduced by the PPP government to help women. He changed the name of BISP to Ehsaas and the money (Rs12,000) was accumulative money of this monthly help to the people given by the PPP government, he added.
“It is also a fact that Imran Khan took back that Rs12,000 from the poor people in the shape of electric bills,” he said, asking if the premier has any empathy for the poor people then why he allocated Rs34 billion less for poor people.
The PPP chief said that governance can only be seen in Sindh and Balochistan. Punjab, the biggest populated province of Pakistan has been handed over to a “trainee chief minister” who is in quarantine for the last two years.
He said that the federal government not only deprived Sindh of its due share from the divisible pool but also took away Rs483 billion of Punjab. “This PTI government is unable to collect its own revenue so why the failure of the federal government should be shouldered by the people of Punjab. If people are not given relief, then the people will drag prime minister Imran Khan out of the prime minister house. Imran Khan did not accept my challenge to show me a single hospital anywhere in the country which parallels the NICVD,” he said.
Bilawal said that PM Imran has “destroyed” our national airline because he does not know that through what difficulties a pilot and other staff go through during their employment. He does not know that every pilot’s licence is reviewed every six months. “A minister whose own degree is fake accuses pilots of having fake licenses. This is shameful,” he said.
He also said that Pakistan will be isolated like Sweden because of mismanagement by the PTI government. He further that the PTI government wants to take advantage of one accident and sell the national airlines. “This government also wants to sell Roosevelt Hotel,” he added. “These are Pakistani assets. Our pilots are our assets because they are famous for their excellence all over the world. Many airlines have employed Pakistani pilots because they are the best in the world. Imran Khan is selected and his government is a fake government and now it wants to destroy PIA.”
Bilawal said that the auditor general of Pakistan issued a report which says that during last year, this PTI government did corruption of Rs273 billion. “This is Imran Khan’s corruption and he will have to be accountable. He would have to be accountable for sugar report. He will have to be held accountable for giving benefits of billions of rupees to his front men,” he said.
Responding to the questions of journalists, Bilawal said that we have never talked about “minus one” but Imran himself is talking about minus one. “Democracy is threatened by Imran Khan and his ego. The PTI government is on a vilification campaign against Sindh government because Sindh is the only province which has shown governance,” he said.
“Imran Khan does not have a mandate, he is selected and his mandate is fake, which can evaporate any time. He said that he hopes that PML-N will support PPP’s stance with zeal and vigour and also hopes that Shehbaz Sharif will get well soon and will contact PPP for holding an APC,” he added.
He further said that PPP takes nobody’s signal but listens to the people of Pakistan. He challenged that the “people who rigged Senate election should come out in open and tell the people how this rigging was managed”.
The PPP chief said that there is a unanimous opinion in the society against PTI government and Imran Khan. He said that PPP will put this point across in the APC that the speaker of the National Assembly is running the sessions of the lower house partially and they will raise the issue of no confidence against the speaker in the APC.