Bilawal Bhutto plans to stick to his stance on human rights, press freedom and missing persons, come what may.
“If you want to send my whole family and my party [PPP] workers to jail, you can, but we will not change our stance on human rights, freedom of press and missing persons,” the PPP chairperson said. He was addressing the government and the National Accountability Bureau at a press conference in Lahore on Saturday.
“Put any pressure you want, but PPP will not back down, be sold, or get afraid,” he said.
Bilawal added that the opposition will have to be the one to solve Pakistan’s problems. He said he was invited by PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz for a lunch tomorrow.
The PPP chairperson said Pakistan had many problems. We all need to discuss these problems to stop the PTI’s budget from getting implemented, he said.
He expressed his willingness to work with any party which would strengthen the PPP’s manifesto.
Talking about the recent rise in inflation, he said the people of Punjab had become a target of the government’s economic terrorism. “Four million Pakistanis have fallen below the poverty line. If the budget gets approved, four more will fall,” he predicted, saying that the middle class will become the working class.
Criticising the ruling PTI government, he said it only provides relief to robbers and the rich through amnesty schemes. There is no amnesty scheme for Pakistan’s poor.
He termed the recent budget unveiled by the government for fiscal year 2019-20 as “economic suicide”.
“Imran Khan went to the IMF and wants the country to commit suicide,” he said. It is the duty of the politicians to raise their voice for the poor, farmers and labourers, unemployed persons and pensioners, Bilawal said.
The young Bhutto supports democracy and he says democracy is all about human rights. So he supports PTM on human rights and believes in freedom and the phenomenon of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
“If you are an MNA, you have the right to the release of your production order,” said Bilawal. People in North and South Waziristan and Nawabshah, he said, were unaware of the budget. He said it was unfair. “We will need to challenge this together. This is a fascist mindset,” he said.
His father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, is the solution to the country’s problems, he believed. “The government arrested him [Zardari] so they can get away with their budget and protect their useless government,” he said.
He said there has always been pressure on anyone who criticises the government.