Political Maneuvering Costing Pakistan: Bilawal

PPP chairperson turns down power-sharing formula; rigging complaints should be directed through appropriate channels

Political Maneuvering Costing Pakistan: Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has admitted that the results of the February 8 elections do not render him eligible for the post of prime minister. While expressing reservations on the elections, he maintained that his party remains committed to moving forward, working towards Pakistan's socio-political and economic betterment, and raising the slogan of 'Pakistan Khappey'.

He said this while addressing a large public rally at the Makli Cricket Stadium in Thatta the other day. Vibrant party processions from the districts of Thatta and Sujawal, alongside the neighbouring Badin and Tando Muhammad Khan Districts, thronged to the rally ground on Sunday evening. Bilawal was accompanied by Ali Hassan Zardari, Syed Riaz Shah Shirazi, Sadiq Memon, Murad Ali Shah, and Nasir Hussain Shah, among others.

The PPP chairman regretted his inability to physically visit these districts during his demanding electoral campaign. However, he emphasised the significance of celebrating his party's triumph in its stronghold, which has remained loyal to the party for years.

While expressing profound respect for elder statesmen and politicians of the country and their dedication to serving the public, Bilawl regretted how evident it was that the priorities of these leaders were often aligned with personal agendas rather than the nation's welfare. 

Stating that the PPP aims to promote unity among all federating units, Bilawal stated that the country currently finds itself engulfed in turmoil as it navigates one of the most critical junctures in its political history. 

"Our party firmly believes that this is not a time for mere political maneuvering, but a time to take decisive action to safeguard our nation from potential catastrophe," he said.

Suppose they engage in the same politics as the majority, with their nefarious designs. In that case, it will cause irreparable damage to the country and the federation, he said.

Nevertheless, Bilawal affirmed that his party is committed to addressing the reservations and complaints of its candidates through appropriate channels.

If they are met with continued disregard and injustice by the designated forums, Bilawal said they will ultimately stand with the people in protest.

Despite being part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led government for 18 months, Bilawal lamented that the PPP received no positive response and was denied its rightful share in development schemes.

With the PPP deciding to back the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in forming a new government, Bilawal asserted that his party had rejected a proposed power-sharing formula whereby they will share governance responsibilities — three years and two years, respectively. 

"I do not favour such a model for premiership. As the leader of a major party," he said, adding that he believed the people would bring him into power with a full mandate.

"I decided to take part in the elections because I was very concerned about the issues of Sindh," claimed the PPP chairman, adding that the people of Pakistan proved that the PPP had shown that it was a popular political party in the country. 

Commenting on the recently-conducted general elections, Bilawal emphasised that the PPP had won without any rigging while criticising the likes of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for losing despite allegations of rigging.

Bilawal noted that those protesting alleged rigging only sought to make the elections controversial. 

He revealed they failed to persuade "[Imran] Khan Sahab" despite their best efforts. He criticised those who had won the 2013 general elections through rigging were now claiming to have lost the 2024 elections due to rigging, calling it unacceptable.

With the PPP poised to form a government in Sindh and Balochistan, he pledged that his party would work for the development of the people in the two provinces.

With the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) staging a large demonstration against the PPP the other day, Bilawal responded by stating that both parties were making separate demands but should accept the reality of PPP's victory.

Regarding the political chaos in the country, he expressed concern that it would further push Pakistan into a crisis, emphasising the need to save the federation and Pakistan.

He vowed to collaborate with other willing politicians to ward off political and economic crises in the country. 

The author is a practicing lawyer and freelance journalist. His areas of interest are cultural diversity and socio-political issues of Sindh.