Bilawal questions why ‘puppet prime minister’ jumps to Buzdar’s defence

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–Bilawal says even Akram asks why he is being compared to Buzdar

–Claims centre wants to ‘snatch institutions’ by not implementing 18th Amendment

–Murad says Sindh would not let others snatch its rights

KANDHKOT: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday questioned Prime Minister Imran Khan’s unwavering defence of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

It merits a mention here that the Usman Buzdar-led provincial government has recently received criticism from all sectors of society as a Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) ‘encounter’ in Sahiwal resulted in the deaths of three members of a family.

Bilawal was speaking to reporters after addressing a rally organised to memorialise Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani on his first death anniversary. He said that the umpire’s will determines the outcome of a cricket match while it is the nation’s will which has a say in politics.

Then, he said that a “first-class team” was apparently prepared to run Punjab and mocked that who did that comprise of? Buzdar?

There were many hopeful candidates for the seat of Punjab chief minister, but then there came Buzdar, he said. What is it about Buzdar that the prime minister supports him so much, he wondered rhetorically.

He also referred to PM Khan’s earlier comment in which he compared the provincial chief minister with former cricketers claiming that as a captain, he himself selected players who went on to become superstars like Inzamamul Haq and Wasim Akram, and the case of Buzdar is no different. Bilawal mocked that even Akram asks what is his fault that he is being likened to the sorts of Buzdar.

Moreover, Bilawal spoke of the recent power struggle between the Sindh government and centre over the issue of the 18th Amendment. He said that the federal government seems to be unwilling to implement the 18th Amendment in an attempt to “snatch institutions established by the Sindh government”.

Asserting that PPP will explore “legal and political” options to protect the provision, he said that the matter will be raised within the parliament. He concluded that his party has “seen difficult times” and the “puppet prime minister” cannot do anything to impede their path.

Earlier on Friday, while addressing a large gathering held to commemorate Bijrani, he said that the 18th Amendment and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) are the top achievements of PPP government, adding that the constitutional amendment was under danger as attacks were being made on it from all corners, but they would defend it along with opposition parties and no compromise would be made on human, democratic and economic rights.

“Our democratic struggle will continue. Bijarani was a known politician who fought for democracy along with Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and myself. Throughout his life, he struggled for the rights of poor masses, democracy and after facing troubles, he became successful,” he said.

He also said that the 1973 Constitution of the country was abrogated by General Ziaul Haq, which was later restored after a massive struggle by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. During this long journey, the Bajrani’s services could not be forgotten, he added.

He further said they launched BISP to fulfil the slogan of “Roti, Kapra Aur Makan” and with this programme, poverty had been reduced in the country. He said that now it is the responsibility of the new generation to save democracy and the constitution.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also paid tribute to the late party leader in his address. Shah said that his father and Bijarani jointly participated in the movement for democracy. He said that the country is passing through critical time, adding that the Sindh’s rights over gas, electricity and water were being snatched but under Bilawal’s leadership, the province would get its rights.

Syed Khurshid Shah said that Bijarani was a model politician and he had stayed in jail with him. Shah said that Bijarani remained loyal to the party throughout his life.

Agha Siraj Durrani, Manzoor Wasan, Mir Shabir Bijarani and others also addressed the gathering.