Bilawal warns of quitting govt if promises not fulfilled

KARACHI: Foreign Minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday expressed serious reservation on the ongoing census, saying that his party backed the digital enumeration but opposed the way it was being carried out.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the seed subsidy programme for the growers at the Chief Minister House, Bilawal warned the Centre it would have to fulfil its promise to the flood-affected population, otherwise the PPP could come out of the government.

The PPP can support a scientific and real census, but will not support this methodology. “We cannot support such a census,” Bilawal told the ceremony. However, he added that the Centre “has no solution to our objections”.

He added that Sindh was the only province that had objections over the census. “I will talk to the Centre about the census. If there are any irregularities, we will not accept them [results],” the PPP chief said.

“We raised objections against the 2017 census,” he continued. “There was a big difference in the numbers of Sindh and other provinces. If the federal government did not see to the PPP’s objections this time, Sindh will not support it.”

The PPP chief also called on the Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government to fulfil its promises made to the people of Sindh during the floods. He warned that if the promises to the flood victims were not fulfilled, it would be difficult for the PPP to continue working as ministers.

“A positive message will be sent if the federation keeps the flood victims of Sindh and Punjab on its priority list. If the Centre does not fulfil its promises made to the flood victims, the people will ask us questions,” he said.

“In such a situation, it will be very difficult to hold on to our ministry. Therefore, the matter will be raised in the federal cabinet and the National Assembly,” Bilawal told the ceremony. “The Sindh government is helping the flood victims.”

Bilawal termed inflation the biggest problem facing the country, adding that the law and order situation was also alarming. However, he expressed his optimism that the PPP could resolve these issues.

“The real issues have to be resolved,” he said. “The PPP is endeavouring for the revival of economy, and generating employment. The Peoples Party has the solution to the economic challenges facing the country.”

He emphasised that Pakistan was an agricultural country, calling for more investment in this sector. Without supporting the agricultural sector, he added, the country would not be able to meet its agricultural needs.

“How can we meet our needs, if the agriculture sector is not supported? If they will not invest in agriculture, how will Pakistan become an agricultural country? For economic improvement, focus should be on the agriculture sector.”

Bilawal lampooned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for his politics of division and hatred. Without mentioning his name, he said that a “political rat is hiding under the bed” at Zaman Park.

“A rat has pain in his leg, running around,” he said. “Politicians like Khan Sahib brought division and hatred in politics. Instead of the political rat, we need to focus on the economy,” the PPP chairman added.

Concluding his address, Bilawal said that every segment of the society was perturbed because of high inflation. He also said that the PPP had no quarrel with the “selectors” rather it was working for economic revival.

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