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PPP announces long march towards Islamabad in February

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Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed a press conference and apprised the nation of the decisions taken in the meeting of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and Federal Council of the party held on the 5th January and validated by the core committee of the party on 6th January.

He said that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundation of the party in Lahore and we are starting our movement to dislodge this government from the same city. He said that the CEC urged the Supreme Court to revisit the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His murder is the biggest attack on Pakistan. The entire Pakistan is waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in this regard. 

The CEC condemned the government for its failure in dissolving the people’s problems. The government created crises relating to that of agriculture, gas, power, poverty, unemployment, extremism and terrorism.

The CEC also expressed its concerns over the state’s surrender before militants, the situation in Afghanistan and the secret deal on racodik. He said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had struggled for the merger of tribal areas and the cause was also a part of her last manifesto. Unfortunately, the merger was not fully implemented and the promises made to the people of the tribal areas were not fulfilled. There are conspiracies being hatched to reverse the merger, which we will strongly resist.

We demand fresh, fair and transparent elections in the country because the solution of the problems of the people is in democracy, democracy and more democracy. We demand of the ECP to take action against PTI, which hid its foreign funding for seven long years. We have formed a legal team to look into it and challenge it. In the mini-budget, our economic independence has been compromised, our legal team is also working on challenging it because we want out State Bank to be sovereign. He said that the CEC urged the Supreme Court to vacate the stay order against the minimum wages of Rs. 25000 per month and we ask the Supreme Court to not be a hurdle in our provincial autonomy.

The government has tried to extend the expired ordinances through the National Assembly. We will challenge this act of the government. The CEC also condemned the atrocities against Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir and appealed to the international community to take notice. The CEC also paid tributes to the PPP’s legal team which was successful in getting 16000 workers restored through the Supreme Court.

The PPP has prepared a White Paper exposing the government that will be taken to the people. Taj Haider has prepared a report on rigging in the elections, we will take that report to the ECP and ask for action to be taken against this government. PPP protested against price-hike, shortage of gas, increased price of petroleum. Now, according to the decision of the CEC, this protest will progress to the second phase from today. The government wants to bulldoze the mini-budget but we will oppose it within and outside the Parliament. The day the mini-budget will be tabled, we will protest in front of the Parliament House.

Chairman PPP said that the growers of the country are being thrown from pillar to post for fertilizer and the crisis has gotten so big that they are suffering losses owing to the deprivation caused by the government. The poor growers are compelled to buy fertilizer from the black market. We will hold Kisan rallies in every division of Pakistan. The people are not ready to tolerate this incompetent government anymore and are demanding for it to be sent home.

Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari announced that the PPP will start a long march against this government, commencing on 27 February, from Mazar-e-Quaid and heading towards Islamabad.

Responding to questions, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the PDM did not engage the PPP in its decisions. We invite the entire nation to defend their democratic and economic rights. It is up to the PDM whether they want to resign or not. Out stand on the establishment and other institutions is that every institution should work within its constitutional domain. We hope that this will happen. If the establishment has said that it is neutral, then we welcome it. We are in Lahore because the people of Lahore and Punjab have always supported the PPP, be it was Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. The people in this city had welcomed Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in 1986 in great numbers and with enthusiasm which is a record to this day. The people of Lahore and Punjab are once again looking at the PPP. We increased our votes six folds in the recent bye-elections. I request the people of Punjab to support me as I will not disappoint them. We only look towards the people for support and no one else.

Answering a question, he said that he laid the foundation of PDM. We had a very good strategy. We convinced our friends to take part in bye-elections, then the election for a Senate seat in the National Assembly. We defeated Imran Khan in all elections. He said that he desires for every democratic force to come out against this incapable government.

He said that those who engage in the ‘politics of deals’ do not have graveyards of martyrs. Replying to another question, he said that the party’s manifesto committee is working on the manifesto for the next elections. The basis of our manifesto is always “Roti, Kapra aur Makan”. Chairman Bilawal said that the entire PPP will be present on the day of voting on mini-budget and hopes that the entire opposition will also be there. He said that some TV channels were not reporting the amount he paid as agriculture tax. The PPP Media Office released the figures of the total taxes he paid for the last five years.

He said that Imran Khan used to call everyone a thief but he was exposed as the biggest thief himself.

Imran Khan is the only person in the whole of Pakistan who got 5800 percent richer whereas the entire nation has become poorer. The people of Pakistan want to know how he became rich overnight.

Responding to another question, he said that the PPP always stabilised the country’s economy. During the PPP government in 2008-2013, when the world was facing recession, it was the PPP which increased pay and pensions up to 100%. The PPP started Benazir Income Support Programme to help the poor women of Pakistan. We were facing a food shortage in 2008 but in one year, we began exporting wheat and rice. Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the PPP can deal with the economic crisis which the country is facing today.

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