Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday criticised the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government, saying that the people of Punjab were being punished since their province was being run by ‘extremists,’ their ‘sympathisers’ and ‘friends of dictators’.
“There can be no reconciliation with those who sympathise with extremists,” said Bilawal while addressing a farmers’ convention. The PPP chairman claimed that the PML-N government was making it difficult for farmers and the masses to survive via its “anti-farmer policies”.
Amid chants of “Go Nawaz Go,” Bilawal accused the PML-N government of robbing farmers.
“Farmers are committing suicides and setting their own crops on fire as they are not being paid the due return of their hard work by the government,” he claimed.
“The times are changing and the farmers and common people will not allow you to rule if you do not solve their problems,” Bilawal warned the ruling PML-N.
Reminding peasants and workers about what he said were the “farmer friendly” policies of the past PPP governments, Bilawal claimed his party had always paid the country’s farmers well for their produce and provided them power and urea on subsidised rates.
“Farmers are dying of hunger and you are rubbing salt on their wounds by launching projects like metro bus,” said Bilawal, taking a jab at the transport project for Lahore.
The PPP chairman also slammed PML-N’s leadership for failing to live up to their promises of eliminating load shedding in two years.
“At a time when our armed forces are driving terrorists’ out of the country, the current government is destroying the economy,” Bilawal said.
About the ongoing anti-terror operation across Pakistan, the PPP chairman again took the PML-N to task, saying it was only after students of Army Public School of Peshawar lost their lives that the rulers realised that an anti-terror operation was necessary. “Otherwise they were holding dialogue with the Taliban.”
Bilawal added Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched seven years ago when operations were initiated in Swat and North Waziristan.
“Today they say that the whole nation is on the same page against terrorists and terrorism. But the reality is you have finally joined our ranks. I spoke against militancy and extremism when you were holding talks with them.”
Bilawal also paid homage to the martyrs of Pakistan’s war against terror.
After concluding his address, Bilal jumped into the crowd from the stage to meet party workers and farmers – a gesture appreciated by the crowd.