The PPP has warned of pre-poll rigging ahead of a general election on July 25, a day after tensions were ratcheted higher by the dramatic arrest of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan PPP, said the caretaker government installed ahead of the vote was not giving his party a “level playing field” in the campaign.
“The press is facing censorship, political activists are being detained, and this is not only a violation of human rights but also pre-poll rigging,” he told a press conference in Peshawar on Saturday.
PPP politicians have said they have been prevented several times from holding campaign rallies, including one in Punjab province last week.
Bhutto’s statement aligned his party against the establishment and brought him closer to the PML-N of Nawaz Sharif, who has claimed for months that he is the victim of establishment’s conspiracy.
The election will pit the PML-N against its main rival, PTI, a party led by cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan.
On Friday the political temperature rose as Sharif, who was banned from politics for life last year, returned to Pakistan from London and was arrested. He was sentenced in abstentia to ten years in prison for corruption earlier this month.
The party’s current head, Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz, told a press conference in Lahore on Sunday that his party members would wear black armbands to express their support.