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    Sunday, 22 April 2018

    Where was ‘respect for vote’ when Nawaz took dictation from Zia, asks Bilawal

    MULTAN: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday lashed out at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for its 'respect the vote' slogan. 
    "Where was ‘respect for vote’ when Nawaz took dictation from General Zia-ul-Haq," Bilawal questioned while speaking to media in Multan.
    "Nawaz has followed 'orders' all his life, now he is talking about respecting the vote," the PPP chairman said, adding that the PML-N has always "taken dictation" from others. 
    Where was [his slogan] when he removed the slain premier Benazir Bhutto from office in the 1990s, when he was conspiring against Benazir, Junejo and Chaudhries, asked Bilawal. 
    The PPP chief said he hopes the upcoming transfer of power from one civilian government to another will be peaceful.
    The country has weak democracy, he said, adding that the way democracy progressed in the last 10 years has not happened before.
    In response to a question, he said he has a lot of expectations from the chief justice.
    “I cannot stop someone and only advise,” he said, adding that judges do not speak themselves but through their judgments.PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says nobody can stop judges from taking notices over issues as they have suo motu powers. They can take notice of any issue from the prices of electricity to sugar; however, they should also do their job as over 1.8m cases are pending before the courts and the people have to wait for decades with the hope of getting justice.
    “If you want to do our job, do it but please do your own job as well. If you don’t do it who will do it?” he asked.
    He was talking to the media after paying his condolences to the family of Wajahat Hussain Gilani, the brother-in-law of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, and caretaker of Musa Pak Shaheed shrine.
    ‘If you want to do our job, please do your own job as well’
    Dwelling on the subject of judiciary, Bilawal said he had very high hopes with the chief justice regarding provision of justice according to the law.
    “Judiciary is doing the best job. Panama case that was difficult is being pursued. Don’t provide an excuse to anyone to criticise you. You had said that the case would be decided within six months. Do focus on it,” he suggested to the CJ and added that in democracy every institution worked within its domain.
    “I cannot stop anyone but can only suggest that if the judges will speak through press conferences and speeches, it will provide others with an opportunity of criticism,” he made his point clear and added that a judge should speak through his judgment.
    “Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto could not get justice till today. Ten years have passed since the martyrdom of my mother and till date I could not get justice,” he said.
    Criticising Nawaz Sharif, he pointed out that former PM who was now raising slogans of ‘give respect to vote’ had attended assembly hardly for six times when he became prime minister for third time.
    “There will be no respect for a person, his parliament and government who did not hold cabinet meetings, neither did legislation nor resolved the issues of the masses,” he said.
    Continuing his diatribe against the former chief of the PML-N, he said Mr Sharif had always acted on dictations.
    “Even now, he is trying to strike a deal while requesting for dictations. Where was the respect of the vote when he was taking dictations from Zia and hatching conspiracies against Benazir Bhutto? He hatched conspiracies not only against Benazir Bhtto but also against Junejo, the Chaudhrys (Shujaat and Pervaiz) and his own people. Even now the two Sharifs are fighting against each other.”
    Mr Bilawal said that when the PPP government had tried to amend the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws due to their flaws and weaknesses, it was the PML-N that had opposed it.
    On the issue of south Punjab province, the PPP chief said his party had got the separate province bill approved from the Senate where it was in majority; however, the PML-N blocked its way in the National Assembly. He said his party would engage the leadership of Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz and political parties for the creation of new province. However, bemoaning that the PML-N would not let the new province created now.
    Talking about the matter of electricity shortage, Bilawal informed the media the Sindh government was working on the issue for the last 10 years although power generation was a federal subject. He said 1,300 reverse osmosis (RO) plants had been installed in Sindh at a cost of Rs11bn.
    “The people now sitting in the PML-N with the help of the MQM had privatised the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). Now, they are not providing the gas to the company for power generation,” he said.
    He said on the one hand, the federal government was not providing electricity to Karachi while on other hand it was involved in overbilling.
    “There is electricity loadshedding of 18 hours not only in Karachi but also in other parts of the country, including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and south Punjab,” he said.
    Talking about the interim government, the PPP chairman hoped that both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition would agree on the matter.
    He said democracy in Pakistan was weak but it had prevailed during the last one decade which had never happened before.
    “Our government carried out a peaceful power of transfer from one civilian government to another. Hopefully, after a free, fair and impartial election, the power will be transferred to another civilian government once again. It will be a big step for democracy in Pakistan.”
    The PPP chief warned that some people were against the transfer of power from a civilian government to another.
    “There were always some people who got benefits from dictators but now the pro-democracy people will reject them,” he added.
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