PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Sunday that only two political parties — his own and the PML-N — remained in the electoral arena, urging the nation to vote for the ‘arrow’ in the upcoming general election.
The comments come a day after the PTI lost the battle for its iconic ‘bat’ electoral symbol, forcing its candidates to contest the polls as independents.
“Only two parties are left now,” Bilawal said while addressing a rally in Balochistan’s Dera Murad Jamali. “You have to decide between the PPP and the PML-N,” he said.
The former foreign minister said that the people had to use their vote to determine if they wanted the same politics to continue or “new thinking” to prevail.
“You have to decide if you want to give the country’s fate in the hands of a person who served as prime minister thrice but failed do anything for the country,” Bilawal said, taking aim at PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
“Or do you want to give an opportunity to a party that takes everyone onboard as the country moves forward?” he asked.
He highlighted that the PPP practiced politics and contested elections “for the poor” while the PML-N supremo was taking part in the polls so he could be saved from going to jail.
“I’m only contesting the polls so that I save you, the public, and the future of Pakistan from those people,” Bilawal said.
Taking another swipe at Nawaz, the PPP chief said the former premier was a coward as he vowed to defeat the PML-N in their home ground of Lahore.
“I’m also contesting from Lahore. I will strike them inside their house,” he asserted, adding that the PML-N feared the public. “They fear what the public will do to them if they step out,” he said.
Bilawal said there was no ‘bat’ in the February 8 election and the contest would be between the ‘tiger’ and the ‘arrow’, the electoral symbols for the PML-N and the PPP, respectively.
During his speech, Bilawal also promised to complete the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline to fix the issues of Balochistan if the province voted in favour of the PPP.
“I want to give a message to Islamabad. The people in the provinces are not happy with the rulers sitting in Islamabad,” he said. He asserted that the people did not approve of attempts under way to make Nawaz premier for the fourth time.
“The public is no one’s slave. The people of Balochistan have dignity and are brave. They do not bow down in front of anyone, they do not back down, and are not afraid either,” he said.
Bilawal vowed to form a PPP-led government, adding that the country needed the leadership of a party that was dedicated to serving the poor as opposed to the PML-N only served the rich.
He warned that the province would not see any development for the next five years if Nawaz was made premier.
“My first promise is that if you help in forming a PPP government, I will double your salary,” Bilawal said. “I will make sure that the poor throughout the country receive 300 MW of electricity for free,” he said. He also promised to build free educational and health institutions in every district of the province.
The PPP chairman also promised to introduce welfare schemes for farmers and the country’s youth. He concluded his address by urging the people to vote for the PPP in the upcoming general elections.
Later, Bilawal also addressed a rally in Sindh’s Khairpur. Other party leaders, including Qaim Ali Shah, also spoke on the occasion.
The PPP chief promised the people of Sindh that the leaders they elect would not forget the public after winning the elections. Bilalwal said he would personally visit Khairpur after the PPP won the election and inquire about the problems the people were facing.
He pinned the responsibility for the PPP’s success in the upcoming elections on the voters in Sindh.
“We have a complaint against the caretaker government for halting our development works for so many months,” Bilawal said as he decried how the flood affectees in Sindh were being deprived of their rights.