No PM from Lahore this time, says Bilawal

No PM from Lahore this time, says Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday took an apparent dig at Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Monday, asserting that this time, the people of Pakistan would not choose a prime minister from Lahore.

Interestingly, this statement by the PPP leader came on the heels of a reported telephonic conversation between his father, Asif Ali Zardari, and Nawaz Sharif, during which the former extended congratulations on Sharif’s return to Pakistan.

Talking to the media at Gizri’s Football Stadium in Karachi, Bilawal emphasised that the recent local body by-elections in Karachi, where his party emerged victorious, were a prelude to the upcoming PPP success in the general elections to be held in February, 2024.

Read More: Nawaz, Zardari vow to ‘safeguard’ state in rare telephonic call

He contended that the PPP’s victory in these local by-polls was indicative of the people’s support for the party, even when they were not in the Sindh government.

Bilawal underscored that the PPP was positioned to tackle the country’s problems, including economic challenges, poverty, and inflation. He claimed that only a PPP-led government could effectively address issues related to poverty alleviation and employment.

Commenting on reports of a telephonic conversation held today between his father and Sharif, Bilawal said the former president had held this conversation at the time of Sharif’s return to the country.

He said the news is true but old, asserting that it was always good to have negotiations as the door for talks should always remain open.

The PPP chairman remarked that the news was not that huge like it was being portrayed in the media.

He emphasised that political parties always hold talks about resolving issues that the country faces. This he said while alluding that these discussions should be taken as routine exercise, and nothing special.

Bilawal said that the PPP would engage with every political party to address issues that the country was grappled with, claiming to register victory in the upcoming elections.

He went on to express the PPP’s ambition to form government at the federal, local, and provincial levels, asserting that the upcoming election on February 8 would confirm the party’s strength.

Bilawal asserted this time the prime minister of Pakistan would not hail from Lahore.

He also criticised President Arif Alvi for allegedly violating the Constitution. He said the PPP from the day one had been asking the president to step down, adding the PML-N just started to seek his resignation.

However, he said the Constitution allowed the president to remain in office until the Electoral College was completed.

By this he referred to Alvi’s tenure as the president which expired on September, 2023. As the general elections are impending for national and provincial assemblies, the president could continue to serve his term until the new assemblies are formed.

Read More: PPP will muster enough strength to make Bilawal PM: Murad

Bilawal made it clear that those involved in the incidents of May 9 would not be pardoned. He highlighted alleged disparities in the Election Commission of Pakistan’s approach to development schemes in different provinces.

He criticised the allowance of development activities in Punjab and at Centre while the caretaker Chief Minister Sindh, Maqbool Baqar faced restrictions in this regard.

In contrast, he said that Caretaker CM Punjab Mohsin Naqvi, to whom he described as his “brother” was allowed to carry out development schemes across Punjab.

Talking about the surge in terrorism across the country, the PPP chairman said the PPP’ stand against terrorism was clear, adding that terrorists were using the weapons left behind by coalition forces led by the United States in Afghanistan.

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