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Bilawal says Pakistan needs a mature prime minister, challenges Imran Khan to face-off

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PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said his party would continue to give a "tough time" to the PTI-led government. The News/Files

LAHORE: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Wednesday Pakistan needed a mature prime minister who could tackle its problems and challenged Imran Khan for a debate either in the Parliament or on live television.

Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Bilawal noted that contrary to the impression given by the PTI ministers, leaders of his party, the PPP, did not want any concession or any NRO.

The PPP would continue giving a "tough time" to the PTI-led government, he said. Noting sarcastically how the incumbent premier was "so brave that he makes a speech in our absence," he added, "Imran Khan is a PM for PTI's social media only.

"Imran Khan is not willing to come in front of us,” the PPP chairperson said, adding that the prime minister is the first leader to have failed in evolving national consensus regarding the Kashmir issue.

"If Osama Bin Laden is a martyr then what is your stance on Zarb-e-Azb (operation), Swat Operation, and the APS attack," he asked.

'Pandemic not subsiding'

Bilawal said the coronavirus pandemic was not subsiding in Pakistan as being claimed by the government.

"The government has not taken any step to deal with the coronavirus [pandemic]," he said, adding that the healthcare workers in Punjab should be provided risk allowance.

The prime minister had not met with doctors or the medical staff but only met the rich people, he added.

The PPP chair said Pakistan was facing unprecedented challenges but it could be seen in the budget that education, health, and unemployment had not been given any priority.

'PM himself talking about minus one, not us'

Bilawal said the Opposition parties were not talking about the 'minus-one' formula but PM Imran himself brought up the subject. Whenever democracy faced threats, the PPP played a vital role in its preservation, he added.

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"According to the Auditor General’s report, within a year corruption worth Rs270 billion was done," said Bilawal adding the PM should provide accountability in this regard.

"The sugar commission was also an NRO, which was given to Buzdar, Tareen and Asad Umar," he said.

Bilawal said each of the government’s policy seemed to be based on the principle of NRO. The PTI-led government was exacerbating the crises as it had failed to deal with them in an appropriate manner, he added.

"Jang and Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is still in prison without any crime," he said.

Speaking on the plane crash and recent debacle regarding the credentials of pilots, Bilawal said the government had turned the crash into an excuse to privatise the national airline.

"Our pilots are known for their expertise around the world," he added.

'Proud of Sindh police for thwarting PSX attack'

Bilawal also spoke of the recent terror attack, saying the entire country was proud of Sindh police for thwarting the shooting at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) earlier this week, in which four terrorists were killed.

"Police officer Rafique Soomro from Umerkot killed two terrorists," Bilawal said, adding that timely action from Sindh police saved the nation from catastrophic damage.

He said Pakistan’s economy improved due to the sacrifices rendered by police and Rangers personnel.


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