PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday said that while the PTI-led government is busy making tall claims about improved economic indicators, people are committing suicide because of poverty.
He was addressing a press conference after the inauguration ceremony of the Malir Expressway in Karachi, during which he said that Pakistan is even lagging behind Afghanistan and Bangladesh in terms of gross domestic product (GDP).
Shedding light on woes of the common man, Bilawal said that people are slapped with hiked electricity and gas bills, but they do not get an adequate supply of electricity or gas in their houses.
“What solutions do you have for the masses? What are you even doing for them,” Bilawal questioned Prime Minister Imran Khan. “The PM only says ‘what can I do’ whenever the country finds itself in crises.”
He added: “When Kashmir was attacked, the PM said ‘what can I do?’ People are suffering from extreme poverty and inflation, and the premier continues to say ‘what can I do’.”
The PPP chairman went on to say that PM Imran Khan should resign from his position and go home if he does not have the solution to Pakistan’s problems.
“We are the ones who know how to solve people’s problems because we steered Pakistan away from crises [in 2008] when the entire world was struggling with a global recession,” Bhutto-Zardari claimed. “We did not abandon the masses even during the most critical situation in history.”
Speaking about the initiatives the PPP government took during its tenure, Bilawal said that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) alleviated the conditions of the people and helped them fight poverty.
“We even gave increments to people on their salaries and pensions despite the national kitty being empty at the time,” he maintained. “We even increased the Pakistan Army’s salary by 175 %, which had been unprecedented in the country’s history.”
Bilawal warned that if the ongoing situation continues, it would become impossible for the government to control the wrath of the masses.
Speaking about Balochistan, he said that “the region where gas is produced is itself deprived of gas supply.”
“People of Karachi cannot light their stoves, how would they contribute to the economy?”
The PPP chairman also shed light on the ongoing issue of his party members’ resignations from the national and provincial assemblies, saying that all PPP MPAs and MNAs have already submitted their resignations to him.
“I know how each and every member is being pressurised to retract their decisions. Do not treat my people like this,” he said. “I know who is doing this, so don’t compel me to expose you.”
“You cannot blackmail civil servants,” he said.
Developmental projects in Sindh
Elaborating on the different developmental projects that the Sindh government introduced in the province, Bilawal Bhutto said that the ruling PPP — with the help of public-private partnership — completed and initiated more projects in the province than the Centre and all other provinces combined.