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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Speech of Parliament

Thank you Mr. Speaker,

I bow my head in gratitude, before Allah, as I stand before you in this August House today – the very foundations of which, from the foundation stone, to the Constitution of 1973, were laid by Quaid-e-awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

This House where my mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto served both as leader of the House and leader of the opposition.

This House that is a supreme institution representative of the will of the people, unfortunately has seen and survived so many attacks on its dignity, its sovereignty – from both within and outside these walls.

This House which is the custodian of the will of the people.

Standing here today, is for me, both an honour and a challenge.

Mr. Speaker I wish to express my gratitude to the people who voted for me and elected me to represent them in this House. And also to thank my Party for having toiled in the face of such blatant engineering.

I wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, on your election as the custodian of this August House. As custodian of this House, we hope and expect that you will rise above and beyond partisan politics, and together with all political parties, uphold the dignity and prestige of the House.

I want to start Mr. Speaker, by paying tribute to

1. Shaheed Haroon Bilour and the 20 martyrs of the Peshawar blast

2. Shaheed Siraj Raisani and 128 martyrs of Mastung

3. Shaheed Ikramullah Gandapur

4. The 32 shaheeds in Quetta on Election Day

I want to pay tribute the police and LEAs, and all the victims of violence, inan election which the ECP called “peaceful” across the country.

Mr. Speaker, every election in Pakistan is sadly, a bloody election. And this one was no different. We lose lives we can never get back. And neither the dead get justice nor the survivors answers. But I demand that this time be different. The Pakistan Peoples Party demands a full and comprehensive investigation into each and every terrorist act that took place in this election. This nation deserves answers presented before the House and the people of Pakistan.

Mr. Speaker –

The General Elections 2018 have shown us a lot. We have seen, sadly, how elections are manufactured. We have seen media blackout for some and media hype for others, we have seen some candidates declared winners 2 hours after polls closed and others waiting for results for over 28 hours – even in urban constituencies.

From pre-poll to post-poll rigging; refusal to provide form 45s, even till today; throwing out of polling agents from polling stations across the country; breakdown of the much touted RTS system; the ECP’s violation of the Election Act 2017; the list is long and the list is shameful.

Mr. Speaker, we saw an election & a selection. And therefore, we categorically reject the entire election process.

However, despite our reservations, despite having proof of just how rigged this process was – we chose to sit in Parliament. Not only did we choose to sit in Parliament, we convinced all opposition parties to sit in Parliament. And for their agreement to do so, I thank them. And so should the newly elected PM – because we did not like him, choose to delegitimize Parliament. Instead, as always, showed our belief in Institutional Supremacy, Constitutional Supremacy.

I can’t imagine Khan Sahib accepting these results – had they not been what he wanted – And unlike him, we chose to rise above. And to sit in Parliament. And allow the system to work. Had we not – you Mr. Speaker would not be on this chair, and the newly elected PM would not be on his. There would have been a Constitutional crisis and heaven forbid, this House would not exist.

This House will recall Mr. Speaker, that it is the Pakistan Peoples Party that has defended the dignity of Parliament, whenever it has been threatened. Today once again, we have saved the system. We have averted a crisis. We have placed national interest above all.

But this in no way means that we will let anyone get away with this. We had reservations with the 2013 election process. And despite getting more seats this time, we have even greater reservations with the 2018 election process. The PPP demands that a Parliamentary Commission, with members from both Houses, be constituted to closely investigate every aspect of this compromised Election. Let the truth come out. Let there be full disclosure.

Let us assess Mr. Speaker, just how much this nation has lost. Let us gauge exactly what it has taken for Khan sb to become PM. Because make no mistake. We have paid a price. A steep price. A price that we will continue to pay off for generations to come.

We have lost our freedoms.

Our freedom of speech.

Our freedom of association.

Our freedom of dissent.

Our freedom of the Press.

We have compromised on our fundamental human rights.

Ceded the space for Parliament

Weaponised articles 62/63

Mainstreamed extremism and exploited religion for political gains

Pitted one Pakistani against another

We have taught an entire generation that might is right

I hope Mr. Speaker, that this was worth the price this nation has paid!

And in addition to these, many existing challenges also face the new PM elect, most of which he has promised to give a road map to resolve, in the first 100 days of his government.

I look forward to the Parliament hearing his plans on creating 10 million jobs, and making 5 million homes. On how he will end the massive water crisis, revive our industries, support our farmers, and make South Punjab a province.

Mr. Speaker,

The challenges that our country faces are enormous and testing times are yet to come. Our Economy and Foreign Policy are in tatters.

Our economy today is in dire straits. Radical reforms are needed to turn it into an economy that works and benefits the majority, rather than a privileged few. And just as important, the question of Pakistan still being on FATF blacklist needs to be addressed with the gravity it deserves.

Let me remind the PM elect of a few promises that he made to the people of this country before being “selected” for this position. Let me remind him that he said that – he’d rather commit suicide than go around with a begging bowl asking for loans. Let me remind him, that he categorically said that he will not go to the IMF. I look forward to hearing from him what alternative plans he now has, to avert this crisis of epic proportions.

Mr. Speaker,

Let me also remind PM elect that Pakistan stands isolated today. Pakistan has lost its prestige and say in the comity of nations.

Despite having sacrificed thousands of lives in war against terrorists, today it’s Pakistan that is being blamed, Pakistan that is being portrayed as part of the problem rather than part of a solution.

While this narrative is deeply hurtful, we must also have the courage to look within. While Khan Saahab in the past has glorified and sympathized with extremist forces, let me categorically say this and put it on record that our failure to look within has jeopardized us. Not only our relations – with our neighbours and with the world at large. But most importantly, it has and continues to jeapordize our future. The future of the children of this nation.

Mr. Speaker,

A strong Foreign Policy has been the work of every PPP Government. Be it in the time of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or Shaheed Benazir Bhutto or our last government.

And I expect that all matters, including foreign policy will be brought before this House, and at every step, this House will be taken into confidence.

The fact is, however he got here, he will now be the PM of this worthy nation – and the people of Pakistan are looking at him. And holding him accountable to ensure that his words translate into actions – through us – their elected representatives.

Mr. Speaker,

Main PM elect ko mubarakbaad dainay kay saath saath yeh yaad dilata chaloon kay woh kisi makhsoos jamaat kay Wazeer-e-Azam nahin banay hain.

He is the Prime Minister of all Pakistanis. He is the Prime Minister of the Pakistanis he called zinda laash. He is the Prime Minister of the Pakistanis he considered donkeys. And he is the Prime Minister of the Pakistanis he thinks are goats and sheep.

Wazeer-e-Azam Pakistan ki haisiyat main, Mr. Speaker, mujhay umeed hai kay Khan Sahaab maazi kay nafrat angaiz bayanaat nahin duhraayain gay. Apni inteha pasandi ki siyasat say guraiz karain gay. Aur jis intolerance kay culture ko aaj tak farogh daitay aaye hain, usay dafan kar kay – puray mulk ko saath lay kar chalain gay.

However, if the PM elect persists in spreading intolerance and fanning the flames of bigotry; if he undermines the dignity of this House or the supremacy of the Constitution of Pakistan; he will have to go through us as he will find us opposing him every step of the way.

Because the Pakistan Peoples Party never has, and never will compromise on the interest of the people. And this is something that I want to make very clear to the incoming PM.

However, agar PM elect nai Constitutional Supremacy, Parliamentary Supremacy, and greater public interest ko apna maqsad banaya, if he rejects his own previous divisive rhetoric, he will then find us in support.

Finally Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the PM select, and wish him good luck!

 

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No arrest warrants of Mr Zardari issued

Islamabad, 17 August, 2018:  A section of the electronic media is reporting that the Court has issued warrants of arrest of former president Asif Ali Zardari. Senator Farooq Naek counsel for former President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari has contradicted such reports and said that the Court had not issued any such orders.
اسلام آباد(17اگست 2018)
سابق صدر پاکستان اور پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی پارلیمنٹیرینز کے صدر آصف علی زرداری کے وکیل سینیٹر فاروق نائیک نے میڈیا کی ان خبروں جن میں کہا گیا ہے کہ آصف علی زرداری کے گرفتاری کے وارنٹ جاری ہوئے ہیں قطعی طور پر غلط ہے۔ فاروق نائیک نے کہا کہ عدالت نے سابق صدر کی گرفتاری کے کوئی وارنٹ جاری نہیں کئے۔
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PPPP President Zardari felicitates Syed Murad Ali Shah

Islamabad, 16 August 2018: Former President and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated Syed Murad Ali Shah for being elected as Chief Minister Sindh and hoped that Sindh will prosper under his leadership.

Asif Ali Zardari said that PPP will fulfill its promises made to the people of Sindh. He instructed Murad Ali Shah to serve people of Sindh with new zeal and vigor and create employment opportunities, focus on education and health, take measures for restoring peace and providing safety to the people of Sindh.

Asif Ali Zardari also congratulated provincial office bearers of the party, members of provincial assembly Sindh and workers to have a Jiyala as their Chief Minister.

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Office holders of PPP Benazirabad called on former President Zardari

Islamabad, 16 August 2018: President PPP district Shaheed Benazirabad, Ali Akbar Jamali along with his cabinet members called on former President and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari at Zardari House Islamabad and presented him a detailed report regarding political situation of the constituency and other party issues.

Asif Ali Zardari instructed the office holders to work for the issues faced by the people. He also asked them to take these issues to the Sindh Government to resolve them.

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari paid rich tributes to Dr Ruth Pfa

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has paid rich tributes to renowned leprosy fighter Dr Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, popularly known as Dr Ruth Pfau on her first death anniversary being observed today.

In his message, the PPP Chairman said that Dr Ruth Pfau served the humanity and for over fifty years fought dedicatedly against leprosy making the country free from the contagious disease in 1996 as declared by the World Health Organization.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that people of Pakistan would remember the services of Dr Ruth Pfau for ages for the eradication of leprosy from the country.

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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taken serious notice of withdrawal of security to former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani by the caretaker government and described it as a criminal act.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has taken serious notice of withdrawal of security to former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani by the caretaker government and described it as a criminal act.

In a statement, the PPP Chairman asked the government to clarify as to whom it intends to facilitate by withdrawing security to Yousuf Raza Gilani and whether the government doesn’t know that his family had been the target of terrorists.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that Ali Haider Gilani and Shahbaz Taseer were taken hostage due to such criminal negligence in the past adding that withdrawal of official security was tantamount to give in writing that government would be held responsible if anything happens to him or his family.

He further said that people should know that who took the decision in which meeting to withdraw security of the political leadership or whether such steps are being taken on the whims of the incoming rulers who had been calling terrorists as their brothers and doled out crores of rupees to them from the government exchequer.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that following the martyrdoms of Shaheed Haroon Bilour, Shaheed Siraj Raisani and hundreds of their companions, the government should have been more concerned but its policies appear in opposite direction.

PPP Chairman demanded that security of Yousuf Raza Gilani and entire political leadership of the country should be ensured without any delinquency.

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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that non-Muslims are equal citizens of Pakistan adding that being the true inheritor of the ideology of the country PPP,

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that non-Muslims are equal citizens of Pakistan adding that being the true inheritor of the ideology of the country PPP, together with the unanimous Constitution of Pakistan stands as a guarantor of their equal rights.

In his message on the 10th “National Minority Day” being observed tomorrow (August 11), the PPP Chairman pointed out that for the first time PPP awarded three tickets for general seats to non-Muslim candidates in 2018 elections. Of them, Dr Mahesh Malani is the first-ever candidate for National Assembly who won on a general seat in Pakistan’s post-1971 history. Hariram Kishorilal and Gianchand Essrani were elected as MPAs, that too on general seats, which is again unprecedented.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari further said that it was PPP which legislated to reserve four seats for non-Muslims in the Senate of Pakistan and itself elected three non-Muslim as Senators, two of them on general seats including Senator Gianchand and Kirshna Kolhi both belonging to marginalized communities. A Christian PPP worker Anwar Laldean was elected Senator on reserved for minority from Sindh. The incoming Sindh Assembly will have only one Christian MPA Anthony Naveed, who belongs to PPP. We are also proud that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto established a full-fledged Minority Affairs Department in Sindh in 1994, no other province couldn’t do in last 24 years.
Recently notified Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill was also passed by last PPP government unanimously, he added.

In 2009, President Asif Ali Zardari had declared August 11 as National Minority Day, the day in 1947 when Founder of the Nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah made famous speech emphasizing equal rights for non-Muslim citizens in the new state of Pakistan.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that PPP would continue to follow the vision of the founding fathers of the nation for equality with no discrimination of caste, creed, religion or ethnicity among the citizens. “PPP is the true torchbearer of the ideology of Quaid-e-Azam and will continue its struggle for an egalitarian, peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan,” he added.

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PPP’s elected Minority legislators express gratitude to Bilawal Bhutto for ensuring Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill, which becomes law now

KARACHI, August 9: Eight newly-elected MNAs and MPAs of Pakistan Peoples Party have extended deep gratitude to the Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for ensuring unanimous passage to Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill from the previous Sindh Assembly, which finally got assent from the Governor to become a law last week.

Dr Mahesh Malani elected MNA on a general seat for the first time in Pakistan’s history, MPAs-elect on general seats Hariram Kishorilal, Gianchand Essrani, and Ramesh Lal, Surendar Valasai, Rana Hameer Singh, Mukesh Kumar Chawla and Lalchand Ukrani pointed out that passage of Sindh Hindu Marriage Bill was not possible without express directives of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the outgoing Sindh Assembly adopted an amendment on its last day in May, 2018.

With the assent of Governor, the Bill has become a law. The Bill was tabled by a Opposition MPA Nand Kumar with the consent of all the Minority MPAs and full support of the Parliamentary Party of PPP, which developed consensus in both sides of the benches.

The Bill awarded the right of separation to both husband and wife in addition to ensuring financial security of wife and children.

The law says: “Either party to Hindu marriage, whether solemnised before or after commencement of this Act, may present a petition to the court praying for decree of judicial separation.”

The PPP members also appreciated the former Minority Affairs Minister Dr Khatumal Jeewan and ex-MPA Poonjomal Bheel, the then Chairman of the Standing Committee on Minority Affairs for their contributions in the legislation as well as well the continuous support of the then Parliamentary leader of PPP Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and leaders of other Parliamentary groups for unanimous adoption of the Bill.

It may be recalled that there was no law governing Hindu marriages in the country since seven decades.

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Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah opposition candidate for Speaker

Islamabad, 4 August 2018: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari after consultation with party leaders has given approval of the name of Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah to contest as Speaker National Assembly.

Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, spokesman to the Chairman PPP in a statement said that PPP, PML-N, MMA, ANP and other parties had decided to field candidates jointly for Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker National Assembly. According to the decision candidate for PM would be from PML-N, Speaker from PPP and Deputy Speaker from MMA.

Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said that PPP despite all reservations about rigging in the elections has decided to go to the parliament and fight the cause of democracy. PPP leadership united all democratic forces and is committed to strengthen parliament. He said that opposition will compete with every PTI candidate for every post.

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Sacrifices of police force fighting terrorism is remarkable-Asif Ali Zardari

Islamabad, 4 August 2018: Former President of Pakistan and President Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians Asif Ali Zardari has paid rich tributes to the martyrs of police force who offered supreme sacrifices fighting the menace of terrorism in the country.

Former President Zardari in a message on the Police Martyrs’ Day said that the role of police in defeating terrorists has been exemplary and unforgettable. He said that PPP will not leave the victims’ families alone and will be always with them.