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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N)-led government has failed the people of Indian-held Kashmir.

“I am not satisfied with the government’s policy on Kashmir as it has betrayed the moral and political support to Kashmir,” the PPP chairman said during an interview to a private television channel on Thursday.

“Nawaz Sharif is interested in personalised realations instead of institutional relations,” the PPP scion said while referring to the Nawaz’s visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He (Nawaz) went to India not to meet Hurriyet conference but to expand his personal relations,” Bilawal alleged.

He said that the new generation in Indian-held Kashmir had revived the struggle for freedom and Modi had ordered use of pellet guns against to suppress them but it took Nawaz three years to make a statement against Indian brutality in Held Kashmir.

‘Pakistan wrongly linked to terrorism’: To a question, he said that Pakistan was wrongly linked to terrorism. “Unfortunately, Pakistan’s perception is linked to terrorism worldwide, but I tried to present Pakistan’s stance while interacting with the media,” he said while referring to his interviews to Indian and German media.

“Fake News is nothing new for us in Pakistan, especially the PPP has been affected by it in the past,” Bilawal said, when asked about spread of fake news worldwide.

He said that he personally believes there is a need for journalism education in the country.

Senate elections: Setting aside allegations of horse-trading, Bilawal said as to how a party could be accused of horse-trading when it does not have MPAs in the province.

Referring to allegations of branding the PPP a pro-establishment party, the PPP chairman said they (opponents) were giving such excuses to hide their failures.

He also refuted the reports of MNA Faryal Talpur contesting senate elections, saying it was a perfect example of fake news.

Nehal Hashmi’s disqualification: Speaking about Hashmi’s disqualification by the Supreme Court, Bilawal said he respected the court’s decision but in such cases standards should be same across the board.

“As a democrat I am uncomfortable with liberal use of contempt of court,” he said, what would become of the person who detained judges and the other who ordered an attack on the Supreme Court.

“I want the same law for everyone.”

Sindh Police & encounters: When asked about the Sindh police and recent extrajudicial killings, Bilawal said he was concerned about the encounters, which had been ongoing countrywide.

“As soon as this incident happened, I immediately took notice and didn’t wait for investigation report; the government took immediate action,” he said, referring to Naqeebullah killing case.

“No just system in the world justifies encounters.”

PPP performance in Sindh: “We have done enough,” he said, when asked about the past years performance of his party-led government in Sindh.

“Our biggest problem was maternal infant mortality rate and we have reduced this by 50 percent during the past five years.”

The PPP chairman said the PPP government had been focusing on public health and had established several hospitals.

“We have been running anti-poverty programs up to union council level,” he said, explaining that poor masses are being provided interest-free loans under these programs.

Questioned about Karachi garbage dumps, he said the provincial government was also working on that. “We have to develop it and make every district council responsible.”

Published in Daily Times, February 2nd 2018.


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