ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that his party is not ready to compromise on the 18th Constitutional Amendment, and the rights of the provinces, and we will have to unite to liberate our Parliament, and our country.
Bilawal expressed theses views, while addressing the All Parties' Conference (APC) hosted by the Pakistan Bar Council here on Thursday.
He said that the 18th Amendment and the NFC were government targets.
"Today, everyone is with us on the issue of the 18th amendment but at that time we used to say that a national party is being forced to a corner and efforts were made to limit us to one province but no one listened to us. We had agreed in the Charter of Democracy that there will be a constitutional court, the PPP wanted to make that court but we were not allowed to do that. The Parliament was forced to pass the 19th amendment. When we had said that the judges' appointment should be done by the Bar, Parliament and the judiciary, no one supported us. At that time, the threat of doing away with the 1973 Constitution was hurled at us," he said.
The PPP chairman said that the bills were bulldozed in the joint session on Wednesday. He said that the speaker was not ready to conduct the vote re-count.
If this continues, then we will have to consider that how long this Parliament will continue to be a rubber stamp, he said.
"If politicians are run from court or stick, the "company" will not run, there is no future for coercive and illegal legislation," Bilawal said.
He said that there was no future of such legislation.
Like the senior journalist Sohail Warraich says, "Yeh Company Nahi Chale Gi".
He urged the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) to include a resolution revoking the 19th amendment.
He said that 2.5 million people in Sindh were homeless because of floods, and similar was the case in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit but there was no voice for them in the media.
He said that the federal government of the PPP in 2010 and 2011 had helped the flood victims by issuing them "Watan cards".
He said that it was unfortunate that no one was ready from the federal government to help them.
"The rights of every strata of the society are being usurped. You are well aware of the pressure exerted by NAB and the Establishment. The media owners who used to say that they form the government and they send the government home are themselves facing pressure and high handedness. The senior members of the Bar have gathered all of us here and I have to ask them that when Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP wanted to put forward a stance about judiciary at the time of the movement of judiciary, nobody gave us support then. When the PPP had come out against the establishment, then everybody started saying that we are trying to protect our corruption, how wrong those people have been proven," the PPP chairman said.
He said that even today character assassination is carried out on television channels but the PPP is still steadfast on its principles and manifesto.
Whatever rights we have now in Pakistan are due to the sacrifices of the workers of PPP, he said.
He said that what kind of Riasat-e-Madina is this where a woman is gang raped on the motorway but the people who were responsible of giving her protection, started victim blaming.
Now, the prime minister and other ministers have come in support of that police officer, he said.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that he had experienced accountability since the age of two years with his parents.
He has seen the courts and the prisons from a very young age.
He said that several false cases were initiated against Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and every case was quashed but unfortunately, she was not alive to see herself exonerated.
He said that our narrative about civil liberties and human rights should be one.
"What kind of civil liberty is this that an interview of a politician could not be aired on television? This is not the way of a living nation. We have rendered sacrifices and now we want to hold accountable, the ones who have spilled our blood." he said.
The PPP chairman said that his party has rendered many sacrifices and the time has come to hold accountable the ones who have spilled our blood.
He said that the state has martyred his family members one by one.
He said that "first my grandfather Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged by a dictator and then my uncle Shahnawaz Bhutto was killed by poisoning him. The other uncle Mir Murtaza Bhutto was murdered in Karachi. Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was murdered in the streets of Rawalpindi."
He said that a lot many people who were with Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto are here in this room and many of those are here as well who were not with him.
People who were against him are calling him Shaheed now.
Similar is the case with Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who was called corrupt but now the very same people are declaring her a Shaheed.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020