Bilawal steals Imran’s thunder in maiden speech


–PPP chairman, in his maiden NA speech, smartly recalls all promises made by ‘PM-select’ Imran Khan in his 100-day plan for ‘Naya Pakistan’


ISLAMABAD: While Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on Friday, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari stole the show with his maiden speech in the National Assembly (NA).

Imran Khan’s victory speech after the conclusion of election for PM was focused more on the relentless accountability to follow where he maintained that “no NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] will be given to anyone,” however, Bilawal smartly recalled all the promises made by the PTI government-to-be.

While recalling the 10 million jobs and five million housing units in PTI’s manifesto, the PPP chief said he was anticipating how the newly-elected prime minister would implement his 100-day plan.

Although he said it was his “honour to become a part of this house”, the 29-year-old criticised the “two biggest parties for creating a ruckus” in the parliament.

He urged Khan to be the prime minister not only of his admirers but also of the “donkeys, sheep and those he cursed in his statements”.

Bilawal hoped that Imran Khan, being the prime minister of the country, would fulfil his promises and “refrain from promoting a culture of intolerance anymore”.

“People are looking at Imran Khan to resolve the issues of the country. Imran is not a party chairman anymore… he is the leader of Pakistan now,” said Bilawal.

Khan, while bashing the rival leaders for not supporting his post-2013 election demand of investigating four constituencies, vowed to cooperate with the opposition parties regarding the allegations of rigging in July 25 general elections. Bilawal, on the other hand, specifically mentioned the complaints of “unprecedented rigging”, including the failure of result transmission system (RTS) and irregularities in Form-45.

The PPP chairman claimed that rigging took place before and after the elections, adding that across Pakistan polling agents were expelled from the polling stations.

“If it weren’t for us Mr Speaker, you wouldn’t have your seat and the PM would not have his,” he added.

“We would have been facing a constitutional crisis and we must assess what it cost for Khan sahab to get here. We mainstreamed extremism, we compromised on our basic rights, we pitted one Pakistani against another,” he continued.

Moreover, Bilawal suggested that an investigation be carried out into the attacks in Peshawar, Mastung and Quetta ahead of the July 25 polls.

“I would like to ask Khan sahab ─ who said that he would rather commit suicide than go to the IMF and beg for alms ─ what his plan will be to deal with the economic crisis.”

“It is hurtful that Pakistan, which has sacrificed so much in the fight against violent extremism, is seen as a part of the problem and not as part of the solution,” he went on.

“I am sure the new government will take the [necessary] steps. However Khan sahab got here, Mr Speaker, he is now the prime minister of this worthy nation.”

“I want to remind him that he is not one party’s prime minister. He is the prime minister of all Pakistanis ─ even those he called living corpses, the ones he called donkeys, the ones he referred to as sheep and goats.”

“As prime minister, I hope Imran Khan will drop the hateful rhetoric. If he continues to fan the flames of hatred, he will have to go through us and he will find us opposing him at every step of the way,” he vowed.

“If the prime minister-elect makes constitutional supremacy and human development his priorities, we will stand by his side,” he added.

“I congratulate the prime minister-select,” he concluded, with his use of the word “select” possibly referring to allegations of poll engineering.




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