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    Monday, 19 March 2018

    PPP will defeat PML-N, PTI in elections, Bitterly criticise privatisation: Bilawal

    Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday said that his party would defeat both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the general elections later this year.

    He said the PPP would get rid of the “hate politics” introduced by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the PTI leader Imran Khan.

    Addressing a public rally in Kotli Sattian near here, Bilawal said the people would vote for the PPP and reject the PML-N and the PTI .

    He said Nawaz Sharif was the biggest “toy” in Pakistan whose “key” was not functional.

    “The PPP is not a toy. Nawaz Sharif is the toy whose key is dysfunctional. Nawaz Sharif is heartbroken after the Senate defeat ,” Bilawal said.

    The PPP chief said people would not allow Imran Khan to hoodwink them.

    He said both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan had no respect for the parliament and democracy.

    “They ignored the parliament and are talking about the respect of the vote. They themselves insulted the vote,” Bilawal contended. He said Sharif was linking democracy to his person.

    “He [Nawaz Sharif] was the opening batsman of General Ziaul Haq. They [the PML-N] are claiming nobody can stop them, look, we have stopped you [the PML-N in the Senate],” Bilawal said.

    He recalled how Nawaz Sharif celebrated when Yousaf Raza Gilani was ousted as the prime minister in 2012 by the Supreme Court.

    Bilawal lambasted the federal government’s plan to privatise state-run Pakistan International Airlines and the Pakistan Steel Mills.

    He said Imran Khan had started the metro bus in Peshawar after crticising the PML-N for a similar project.

    “Imran Khan is the first to introduce the terms of good corrupt and bad corrupt in politics. He earlier invented good Taliban and bad Taliban. He has failed to bring change in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in five years,” Bilawal maintained.

    He said Imran Khan misused the official helicopter of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government.

    Bilawal said Imran Khan spoke against “hereditary politics” but awarded ticket to the son of a disqualified politician – Jehangir Tareen – in Lodhran. “He [Imran Khan] has been taking unprecedented U-turns. He has no credentials to speak about ideology,” the PPP chief said.

    Bilawal claimed Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif only inaugurated an incomplete hospital during the last five years.

    He said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had also proven that he was “trained by the Ittefaq Foundry [of Nawaz Sharif].”

    “The PM is privatising the national assets. The government should be ashamed of itself. They should not sell off the PIA and [the] PSM,” Bilawal said.

    Senior PPP leaders including former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Mehreen Raja also addressed the rally.

    Meanwhile, on Sunday, the PPP condemned the “unexplained reduction” in the indigenous production of gas and crude oil thereby causing huge loss to the national exchequer by increased imports of Liquefied Natural Gas besides causing huge loss to the provinces in terms of lost royalty.

    “Any reduction in the indigenous production of oil and gas means corresponding increase in expensive LNG imports, increase in the power bills and pressure on limited foreign exchange reserves and the move appears to have been made to benefit the powerful importers of [the] LNG at public expense,” said PPP Parliamentarians Secretary-General Farhatullah Babar in a statement.

    He said that according to reports crude oil production from wellheads in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was quietly cut by 10,000 barrels and of gas by 80 million cubic feet a day in December last year by the federal authorities.

    The move came to surface only because of a recent decision of the Council of Common Interests to disclose production details, Babar said.

    Deliberately cutting down indigenous production is aimed at benefitting the LNG lobby at the expense of the poor of the country, is misuse of authority besides damaging the wellhead infrastructure that must be probed and those involved prosecuted, he said.

    Babar said that Article 172 (3) “lays down that mineral oil and natural gas within the province shall vest jointly and equally in that province and the federal government. Late last year the federal government tried setting up a regulatory authority for controlling the lucrative petroleum rights divesting the provinces of any role. The move was however thwarted by the Senate.”

    Since 2014, neither a single block out of 35 pending blocks was offered to bidding nor the existing leases, which had expired, were renewed, he said.

    “This played into the hands of [the] LNG importers even though it caused a loss of billions to both [the] federal and [the] provincial governments in royalty,” he said and demanded probe in the matter.
    Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spurned government’s privitisation policy for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) in a rally held in Kotli Sattian, Rawalpindi.


    Talking about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s complaints regarding his dismissal from office, Bilawal said that Nawaz Sharif and his party have not done anything for the people. Hence, the people do not care about why he was dismissed. He stressed that they are more concerned about being plunged into austerity.
    Bilawal said: “You have destroyed the manufacturing industry, the textile industry, and every other job providing industry. The privitisation of PSM and PIA is a transaction which cheapens the labour and effort of several employees.”
    He said, “The height of government’s indifference is that the finance minister is offering our state institutions in a ‘buy one get one free package.”
    Bilawal stated that he will hold ground on opposition to this policy and will organise a resounding protest with the real stakeholders of the organisation-the labour unions, the workers and the people of Pakistan.

    The PPP chairperson also tackled the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson, Imran Khan’s campaign against corruption. “Imran Khan seems to follow the good taliban bad taliban selectivity while talking about corruption. For him, there is good corruption and bad corruption.”
    Bilawal concluded his speech, chanting the mantra of his party, “Roti, Kapra aur makaan” adding, “Ilm, Sehat, Sabko Kaam”-“Education, Health and employment for all.”
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