PPP chairman warns govt of consequences if 18th Amendment is 'touched'

GHOTKI, Sindh: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari warned the government of consequences if the 18th Amendment of Constitution of Pakistan was “touched” or efforts were made for bring One Unit system.

Addressing the participants at a rally in Ghotki, Bilawal accused the government of intending to amend a consensus constitution given by late former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

“They want to do away with the 18th Amendment slowly and gradually, and want to usurp the rights Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he alleged. “They want to bring One Unit system. Do they want to split the country?”

The PPP chairman said because of One Unit system, the country was split in the past as well. “We have rendered sacrifices of our lives and we will not let the constitution to be harmed,” he asserted.

Bilawal said they knew that stronger provinces would result in a strong federation, adding, “But this ‘benami’ prime minister wants to deprive you of your rights”.

“They say the federation is going to be bankrupted. Listen you puppet! The federation is pushed towards bankruptcy due to your economic policies,” he said.

The PPP chairman warned that if efforts were made to roll back the 18th Amendment, then there was going to be ‘Dama Dam Mast Qalandar’ in the country.

‘Bunch of incompetent individuals’

He criticised the prime minister for not having reached Quetta, despite a tragic loss of lives there in a suicide blast earlier in the day.

Today, people have been longing for food. Load-shedding, inflation have made life difficult for the masses,” Bilawal lamented.

“This is a bunch of incompetent individuals, who have been unable to govern the country.”

Participants reminded of PM’s vows of not taking loan

He also reminded the participants of the prime minister’s claims in which Imran Khan had vowed not to take loans, maintaining that doing so impawned the security of the country.

“[He] had said he would commit suicide, but won’t take loan, nor would go to the IMF,” the PPP chairman recounted.

Dollar, jobs, housing

He lamented that the dollar, which was once traded at Rs100, was not being exchanged for Rs142.

“The puppet had claimed to provide 10 million jobs, but today the youngsters are complaining about unemployment,” Bilawal said.

“They deprived the people of shelters in the name of anti-encroachment drive, let alone providing the masses with houses they had promised.”

‘Slap in the face of tax payers’

The PPP chairman also criticised the new tax amnesty scheme by the government describing it as a “slap in the face of tax payers”.

“Whose black money you want to turn white through amnesty scheme? Is it of Jahangir Tareen’s, yours or Aleema Baji’s?” he asked. “Imran Khan, do you want to whiten the black money of your properties converted into offshore firm?

“Do you want to whiten the black money of the properties built by earning through Aleema Baji’s sewing machines?” Bilawal questioned.

Several PPP leaders addressed the gathering earlier.

All arrangements for the public gathering were finalised earlier in the day, organisers said. The venue had a seating capacity of 60,000 participants.

Around 2,000 police personnel were deployed for the security of the rally.