PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has reiterated his demand for free and fair elections in the country, saying that the people would be bearing the burnt in case poll results were “decided in advance”.
“If we have to decide results before elections, then there is no need for this exercise. We need free and fair elections,” he said at a workers’ convention in Nowshera district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday. “We hope that we will get free and fair elections as the PPP supporters will endeavour to have them.”
There is a common perception in the Bhutto-led party that the PML-N was being given a “soft corner”, describing them as “ladla”—a tag given for parties close to the establishment. The PPP has claimed that their workers were not given the opportunity to campaign and the bureaucracy was wooing voters for the PML-N.
“If transparent elections are not held then the new government will not be able to resolve issues related to terrorism, economy, and represent Pakistan matters related to foreign affairs,” Bilawal said, “we will be back to square one where one man would be the prime minister and another would accuse him/her of rigging and conduct politics of sit-ins. Pakistan and the people will be bearing the brunt of this.”
In his speech, the scion of the Bhutto dynasty hoped that the Election Commission of Pakistan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa would ensure that the upcoming elections were not controversial and their results were not questioned. He added tampering with the poll results would waste billions of rupees that belong to the people.
He urged his seniors, who have been in politics for the past 30 years, and different political parties to not waste their history and efforts for a single election. Bilawal advised them to fight elections on their manifesto, not on the “power of the administration.”
“We do not need the help of any administration as the PPP trusts the people of Pakistan,” he said.
He took a jibe at PTI Chairman Imran Khan for talking about Constitution after going to jail, claiming that the former prime minister did not care about rule while in power.
Without mentioning the PML-N, he said that the party would get to know whether it was able to have 2/3 majority in elections or not.
“They think that after a public gathering in Lahore, which too was arranged for them, they will win a two-thirds majority and amend the 18th Constitutional Amendment. It is better if we leave the decision up to the people as those who would run from by-elections and local government elections out of sheer fear will be given a response by the people in the general elections and it will be remembered for generations,” Bilawal said.