Bilawal announces anti-govt protests across country


–PPP chief says his party does not accept ‘artificial democracy’, demands PM Imran’s resignation


KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday called for nationwide protests to restore “real democracy in the country”.

“Our demand is to restore democracy,” Bilawal said while addressing his party workers at a rally organised to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 2007 Karsaz bomb blasts.

“We don’t accept this artificial democracy… the democratic and socio-economic rights of the masses shall be restored… and for this Imran Khan has to resign.”

Bilawal said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government had lost its footing among the people as it had failed to live up to its promises.

He said that all opposition parties were united in calling for the government to step down.

“Our anti-government movement has started from Karachi,” he said, as he announced his plan for further protests.

The PPP chairman said that his party will hold protests in Thar in Kashmore in the following weeks while rallies in Punjab will begin from November 1.

“We will tour the entire country and when we return from Kashmir, you [Imran Khan] will have to go…We will expose your governance in every nook and corner of the country.”

Bilawal said that the PPP had always stood for democracy and would go to any means to ensure the supremacy of the Parliament.

“Imran Khan neither has the capability nor seriousness to govern a country of 200 million people,” he said. “Parliament has been side-lined and politicians have taken to the streets,” adding that the rulers of the country had compromised on Kashmir issue.

“Even a blind person can see Kashmir has been sold out, and CPEC has been slowed down,” he said. “The incompetent government should be removed for committing these crimes.”

Recalling the terrorist violence directed at the PPP upon the arrival of former premier Benazir Bhutto in 2007, Bilawal said, “177 people sacrificed their lives to catch the glimpse of their leader.”

The PPP leader said the 2018 elections had been rigged in favor of the PTI while genuine democratic forces such as his party were deliberately sidelined.

“We don’t want our institutions to be controversial but when army personnel are deployed inside polling stations, their credibility will be questioned,” he said.

He also attributed the PPP’s defeat in PS-11 by-poll in Larkana to the GDA to the government’s undemocratic tactics of coercing political opposition.

“Security personnel deployed inside polling stations harassed our voters and pressured them to vote against PPP,” Bilawal said, announcing that the results will be challenged.