PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday called for an end to the tradition of governments being ousted before the completion of their five-year terms.
Addressing an election rally in Peshawar, Bilawal said: “Our prime minister was ousted during the 2008-2013 tenure through the judiciary. Similarly, Nawaz Sharif faced removal in 2017, and Imran was ousted through a vote of no confidence, but he decided to engage in non-democratic politics.”
Bilawal expressed his hope that the continuity of such a system would cease once the next government assumed control.
He assured that the PPP would unite everyone, putting an end to the politics of “revenge and division”, and working towards the prosperity of the people.
“The PTI and the PML-N have been engaging in divisive politics, taking their political rivalry to a personal level,” Bilawal asserted.
Blasting the PML-N, he claimed, “They altered the route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Lahore from its original path that included underdeveloped areas. The funds allocated for CPEC were diverted to the Orange Train project.”
He emphasised that the PPP’s manifesto “reflects the real challenges faced by the people of the country”.
Taking a swipe at the PTI and its incarcerated founder Imran Khan, Bilawal remarked, “The PTI founder used to claim that he would give a surprise to everyone in the next elections.
“How are you liking the surprise now, Khan sahib? Imran is now willing to talk to everyone, but no one is willing to talk to him.”
However, he added, “We should not feel happy about this.”
Bilawal alleged that Imran adopted a non-democratic course after being removed from power. “The PTI must have learned that it was not the way to rule the country,” he added.
The PPP chairman urged people not to “waste” their votes on independent candidates and insisted that the PPP could steer the country out of the prevailing crisis if voted to power.
PPP launches manifesto
Meanwhile, PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman also officially launched the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2024 general elections earlier today.
Rehman said the manifesto was launched after extensive deliberations.
She stressed that given the situation of the country, business as usual was no longer an option, nor could the country wait for trickle-down, supply-side economic policies for any transformative change.
“While we will incentivise entrepreneurs and encourage public-private partnerships for creating and governing substantive health and education initiatives for quality services that reach all, we will seek to burden share with those who can afford it,” she said.
“It’s time for strategic re-sets, and we are ready to harness the clean energy of local solar parks, divert wasteful spending, and create a Pakistan that grows and adds value to change the lives of our citizens.”
Senator Rehman emphasised that investments must be encouraged and enabled to ensure the benefits of growth reach every stratum of society.
She added that the party would ensure that all Pakistanis could send their children to good local schools, and make sure that free healthcare was available.
The senator further said that the PPP aimed to roll out a diverse range of programmes addressing issues such as food insecurity, healthcare accessibility, social safety net expansion, and initiatives such as the youth card.
Rehman stressed that the party’s ten-point economic agenda, launched in the early part of the campaign by Bilawal, formed the heart of its new thinking on creating a social contract with the people of Pakistan.
She said it would need political will and public consensus to reboot Pakistan’s growth and governance.
“There is a clear vision for addressing the challenges the future will hold both at home and abroad. With the approaching date of Feb 8, it is hoped that the masses will rally behind the PPP’s young leadership for a transformative change,” she added.
To find your constituency and location of your polling booth, SMS your NIC number (no spaces) to 8300. Once you know your constituency, visit the ECP website here for candidates.