KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed the hope that the Centre will join hands with the Sindh government to help out people who had suffered from the recent spell of torrential rains in Sindh.
Addressing a news conference on Friday, the PPP chairman expressed the hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan will announce a comprehensive reconstruction and rehabilitation package for Karachi and Sindh when he arrives in the city on Saturday.
He said that after the coronavirus and locust attacks, the recent spell of torrential rains had made life difficult for the poor. The PPP chairman appreciated CM Sindh and the provincial government for working hard and providing relief to the people in areas such as DHA where he did not have “a legal and administrative role”.
“I know about the hopes and expectations of the people, we will try and work hard to match them,” he said.
Bilawal said that if the Centre matched the Rs800bn package for Karachi then it would solve the problems of the metropolis “to a great extent”. He appreciated the federal government for showing seriousness as regards to investing in Karachi for its infrastructure and development.
‘Not your father’s money, these funds belong to the people of Sindh’
Bilawal said that it was the right of Sindh to get its share of funds from the Centre. “Those who taunt us by saying that we will not give Sindh its due share of funds, they should understand that this is not their father’s money,” he said. “These are funds that belong to the people of Sindh. “They use money from the people of Sindh to run their government and the Centre,” he added.
He urged federal ministers to desist from such taunts, advising the Centre to help people from every province and city regardless of who was the chief minister there. “You have to support people from every province,” he said.
Murad to select new Karachi administrator, says Bilawal
The PPP chairman slammed PM Imran, accusing him of abolishing local bodies system in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that there was also no local government system in Balochistan.
“It is only the PPP that has [this level of] tolerance that it handed over its capital city to its political opponent by saying that it’s your mandate [to run the city] as the people of this city elected you and we want to work with you,” he said.
Answering a question about who will be the new Karachi administrator, Bilawal said that it was up to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to pick whomever he wished.
“I will be seeking results from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah,” he said. “It is CM Murad and his government’s job to appoint a good individual from whom he can extract results,” he added.
In response to a question about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the PPP chairman said that he expects him to return after his medical treatment is completed.
Bilawal reacts to Lt Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa’s resignation
To a question about PM Imran’s special assistant Asim Bajwa’s resignation, he said it was unfortunate that a precedent had been set by PM Imran for PPP and PML-N MNAs, MPAs, ministers and special assistants that a person became guilty before being proven so.
“Allegations used to be hurled, then the trial began, then JITs were formed and investigations were initiated along with a media trial that also took place,” he said. “The problem is, when you do it for Nawaz Sharif, then you set a precedent in law and for the judiciary [for yourself] as well,” he added.
He said that if NAB was truly looking at “faces and not the cases” then opposition parties had the right to ask for the same treatment be meted out to ministers and special assistants.
Referring to the prime minister’s aide on accountability, he wondered how a man who was a government official could buy properties in Spain. “If this accountability adivsor or special assistant has properties in Spain and is using [derogatory] language for the Honourable Justice Qazi Faez Isa, then he will have to come up to the same expectations himself,” added Bilawal.
“If a JIT was formed over Panama Leaks, then the people of Pakistan will ask about Zulfi Bokhari’s [Panama Papers] case,” he said. Referring to journalist Ahmad Noorani’s story on Lt Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa’s alleged assets, Bilawal said that the special assistant’s resignation meant “there was something fishy”.
“If JITs are formed against us based on newspaper stories, then we will ask as to when JITs will be formed against the others and when will they be arrested?” he wondered.
Bilawal said that if his father and former president Asif Ali Zardari can appear before the court on September 9 for the Toshakhana case, then it was time for Akbar and any other special assistant to be held accountable as well.
Concluding his press conference, the PPP leader expressed happiness at the Rahbar Committee’s decision to allow the PPP to host the All Parties Conference (APC), adding that the platform will be a good one to discuss all issues of the country and to ensure all opposition parties are on the same page.