‘Time to take difficult decisions to save Pakistan’

Bilawal says PPP is ready for elections

Rubbishing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s claim that his government was ousted through a foreign conspiracy at the behest of the United States, Foreign Minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said the conspiracy to oust the previous government was not hatched inside the White House but prepared inside Bilawal House.

“Now this selected says it was a foreign conspiracy. It’s not a foreign conspiracy, it was a democratic action. It was the struggle of PPP workers, it was the success of constitution and parliamentary democracy,” Bilawal said while addressing a public rally in Karachi. He said it was the PPP’s efforts that led to the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

“Forgetting our political differences, together with other parties, we formed the PDM and on September 20, 2020, when we laid the basis for PDM, we had clearly said we would take out long marches and hold protests and that we would also struggle inside parliament and send the PTI government home through a vote of no-confidence,” he recalled.

He said at first the PPP’s allies did not agree on an in-House change but “in politics, you have to convince everyone and it is the leader’s responsibility to show the way”, he said.

“So we convinced others, we practically showed our allies and made them understand not to resign from parliament. When our stance was accepted, the selected government lost all by-elections, proving that their mandate was false and that they had come to the helm through selection.”

The PPP chairman also said that time had come to take “difficult decisions” for Pakistan’s benefit to rescue it from the current economic crisis. “Now the time has come to take those difficult decisions in the country’s favour so we can take it out of an economic crisis,” he said, apparently referring to the decision to hike petrol prices, which is being delayed by the government.

Bilawal said the government had two options before it: to maintain short-term relief and thrust the people into long-term problems, or “we bear short-term pain and arrange long-term relief”. “We have to make those difficult decisions through which we can take the economy out of the crisis created by [Imran] Khan,” he said, adding that solutions could be found by working together.

Bilawal said the nation was facing “war-like” issues and difficulties, and various political opponents had come together in the “unity government” to take responsibility and resolve them. He explained that personal and political differences were forgotten during times of hardship in favour of “national interest”.

The foreign minister also said that his party was ready for elections “as soon as we bring in election reforms and act on the Charter of Democracy”. He added that the PPP had already shown what it could do as the third biggest political party in the country and it would show in the future “what else can be done when we will be the biggest party in parliament”.

Lashing out at Imran, Bilawal said the former premier’s “lies and propaganda” would have to be combated. “Imran is playing a dangerous game… A conspiracy is being hatched against the constitutional system… But we have thwarted plans from Bani Gala before and this scheme will fail as well. We will establish a national government after implementing reforms and elections,” he said.