Taking a jibe at the former prime minister, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said that “power-hungry and criminal Imran Khan Niazi”, who was responsible for the current inflation and several other prevailing economic issues, was roaming free and blaming his opponents for the economic woes.
Addressing a public gathering organised in connection with the 69th birthday of his late mother and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Larkana, Bilawal said, “Imran caused this damage to the people just to stay in power and the burden of it is now being born by the commoners.”
He asserted that the former premier must be told to respond to question regarding his performance, including the cases of corruption emerging now.
Referring to the Toshakhana case, the foreign minister said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and his wife would have to give answers reading their “corruption”. He said Imran Khan sold a watch gifted to him by a foreign country and also brought a bad name to the country. “People now know that the slogan of change wasn’t for change but for the destruction of the country.”
Imran Khan, he added, begged other countries for funds and was now resorting to mudslinging against his political rivals. Bilawal recalled that Benazir Bhutto bravely fought military dictators and her activists had kept her message alive in today’s Pakistan. “It was because of the struggle of PPP jiyalas (diehard workers) that Imran Khan was ousted from power via a no-trust move,” he told the participants of the gathering. “Imran’s narrative against corruption is a lie,” he said.
He vowed that the coalition government would eventually succeed in retaining the GSP+ status for the country and subsequently bring more glad tidings for exporters. “These are the things that we achieved by focusing on our work, instead of resorting to mudslinging,” he said. He said the government was working day and night to ensure that the country was put back on the path of stability and progress. “It is because of the struggle of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that Pakistan was saved from going bankrupt.” The PPP leader maintained that he had been visiting several countries. “Our policy is not to beg but to trade with other countries.”
“We put immense effort into taking Pakistan out of the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) grey list and it is hoped that by October, when an on-site visit is due, we will achieve this objective.”
He went on to say that Pakistan was facing two “FIRs” against it in FATF; one related to money laundering and the other related to terror financing.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to the slain PPP chairwoman and said democracy is “poorer” without her; the void “left by her martyrdom will never be filled”.
He recalled the former prime minister fearlessly and staunchly advocated the causes she believed in.