PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have agreed to oppose the budget till the government agrees to drop new taxes from it.
The two met at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Lahore residence, Jati Umra, on Sunday. Maryam had invited the PPP scion for lunch.
The two leaders agreed to run campaigns against the Rs7,036 billion budget 2019-2020, which was presented by the government on June 11. The total revenue collection target has been set at Rs6716.6 billion, of which Rs5,822.2 billion will be generated through the federal tax collection.
Bilawal and Maryam also agreed that they will not stage any dharnas or protests. They assured that they have no plans to topple the government as being urged by JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Bilawal said that he will ensure that the government is not able to pass the budget. Passing it would be akin to committing economic suicide. He said that the budget has not provided any relief to the poor. “We will use our power to stop the budget for the protection of the nation and its labourers.”
We gave the government an opportunity to present a people-friendly budget, but they failed to do so. “We won’t let it be passed in the assembly.”
When asked about his possible alliance with PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz, he remarked that the country is facing far too many problems. “No one party can solve them all on its own.” He said that Maryam Nawaz is bringing a new style of leadership t the PML-N. “We have to think about the long-term. We have to build trust.” Maryam Nawaz will stand with the truth and she truly cares about the people of Punjab.
Interestingly, the fathers of both political leaders are currently behind bars. Nawaz is completing his sentence after being convicted by an accountability court in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference, while former president Asif Ali Zardari has been remanded into NAB’s custody in a money laundering case. He was arrested from his house in Islamabad’s F-8 on June 10.
Earlier in Ramazan, Bilawal hosted Maryam and other opposition leaders for an iftar dinner at Bilawal House in Islamabad. They decided to hold an All Parties Conference in which they are expected to announce their plan of action to tackle government policies.