Current political situation is ‘reversal of democracy’: Bilawal


–PPP chief says his party would initiate a countrywide mass contact drive to ‘expose the government’

–Says 18th Amendment is being targetted by certain quarters

PESHAWAR: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday lashed out at ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), saying the current political climate in the country due to the government’s policies is a ‘reversal of democracy’.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, the PPP chairman said, “We are on a reverse course. Today, people and media do not have as much freedom as they did during the tenure of the PPP,” he said.

He said his party would initiate a countrywide mass contact drive to “expose the government” as people will have to struggle for their democratic, human and economic rights.

He also criticised the government for acting like an opposition, saying who will rule the country if the government and the opposition were both acting like an opposition.

He also took credit for the successful transition of charge from one civilian government to another. He credited the PPP for the transition and said that it was a success [of democratic parties] that the parliament remained intact.

He said a weak parliamentary system that’s working is still a success of democracy. He regretted that the country was facing hardships because individuals were being focused on instead of institutions.

“If a free and fair election is not held, people lose hope in the democratic order and let their anger out in other forms, which are harmful to the society,” he warned.

He further said that his mother, Benazir Bhutto, had struggled for 30 years to restore the 1973 Constitution in its original spirit and the PPP had managed to fulfill her vision in the shape of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The PPP chairman added that the amendment was now being targeted as some quarters were making efforts to reverse it. “Our selected prime minister issues statements against the 18th Amendment,” he said.

The PPP will not compromise on the 1973 Constitution and the 18th Amendment, he said, adding, “You can send my entire family and the entire party to jail but our struggle will continue.”

“The PPP believes that democracy is the solution of all issues,” he said, adding that he believes society needs an atmosphere of political freedom.