MULTAN: My relations with Pakistani people are not just political, but it is a bond forged in blood, branded by loyalty and sacrifices rendered by martyrs, spanning over generations, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told participants of a rally here at the Bahawalpur Bypass.
“I am not basing my politics on abuses or personal grudges … I want to talk only about PPP’s manifesto,” he said.
Over the past three days, Bilawal has so far addressed PPP loyalists in three cities here – Uch Sharif, Khangarh and Multan – as part of his election campaign in the southern Punjab region.
Pledging to emulate the examples set by his mother and grandfather, Bilawal said that he would endeavour to fulfil all of his promises as had been done by his forebears.
“This is my first election and you (the people) have to be my strength by voting for PPP candidates in your respective constituencies,” Bilawal said.
PPP, he said, was waging a war for the public good and doing everything in its power for assuring affordable quality education and free health facilities to everyone in the country.
Thanking the people of Multan, he said that they had stood by the side of the PPP since its inception.
“The people of Multan have also rendered many sacrifices even lost their lives for democracy,” he said.
“Democracy still exists in Pakistan because the people of Multan shed their blood,” he said.
People, he said, still acclaimed the names of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto because of the contributions of the people of Multan.
Bilawal expressed the hope that the people of Multan would support him just as they had stood by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he contested polls from this city.
All development work in Multan had been carried out during the previous tenure of the PPP government, Bilawal reminded.
“You all know that only PPP honestly wants to establish a separate province for the people of southern Punjab,” Bilawal said.
According to him, all problems faced by youths, labourers, minorities and women could be solved if PPP was voted into power.
“Only the PPP forms a people-friendly government,” he said.
He reminded that it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had distributed thousands of acres of land among poor farmers, ending an era of exploitation.
Farmers, he said, had always been prosperous during the tenure of PPP.
Citing poverty as the biggest curse, Bilawal said that if the PPP formed the next government, it would issue Benazir food cards to end malnutrition.
PPP, he said, was the only party that always fought with poverty and unemployment.
He pointed out that as many as 800,000 families were benefitting from the poverty reduction programme launched in Sindh. He said that similar schemes would be launched across the country.
Reminding the crowd of slogans they shouted during the election campaigns of Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal said that if voted into power, the PPP would set up a separate ministry for providing employment opportunities to the unemployed youth.
Housing, he said, had always been part of the PPP’s manifesto since the days of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and after winning elections, PPP would build homes for the low-income group.
He said that ‘Roti, Kapra aur Makan’ (food, clothing and shelter) was the PPP’s signature slogan.
“I will contest the election to materialize the incomplete missions of Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” said Bilawal.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also spoke at another rally at Than Chowk in Shujaabad.
Meanwhile, Multan Deputy Commissioner Mudassir Riaz cancelled the permission given to PPP for taking out a rally, asserting that this was a violation of the ECP’s code of conduct.
PPP office bearers and workers staged a protest against the DC Multan and shouted full-throated slogans against District Administration Multan.
City President PPP Naseem Labar, Rai Mansab, Ali Moosa Gilani, Abdul Qadir Gilani, Haider Ali Gilani, Usman Bhatti, Shakil Labir attended the protest.
PPP spokesperson Mustafa Nawaz Khokar later said that the PPP chairman had shortened his stay at Multan and left for Lahore.