Home News Analysis Bilawal Zardari announces to launch anti-government campaign: Will it work for the...

Bilawal Zardari announces to launch anti-government campaign: Will it work for the PPP and PML-N?

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has announced to launch the much anticipated anti-government campaign on June 23rd, the birth anniversary of his mother, former premier Benazir Bhutto. The PPP chairman was addressing a press conference along with senior party leader Aitzaz Ahsan, in Lahore.

Bilawal

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Bilawal has tried to connect the day with Bhutto family’s contribution for this country in hopes of finding maximum public support. His maternal grandfather was hanged by military dictator General Zia ul Haq through what is commonly known as a ‘judicial murder’. Similarly, Benazir, Bilawal’s mother, was killed during a rally in Rawalpindi. Bilawal, apparently, is using the idea of Bhutto and the emotionality behind the subject to challenge the incumbent government.

PPP chairman has also announced that the party would reach out to the allies of the government and they would go door-to-door to talk to the people. The PPP is already in contact with PTI’s ally Akthar Mengal to seek his support.  Moreover, while terming the recently-presented federal budget for the next fiscal year as an enemy of the people, he slammed the Khan-led administration.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, would join them “with her honesty”. Maryam Nawaz has already hinted at launching the protest campaign against the government.

The incumbent government is taking dictations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, the governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and finance minister have been appointed on IMF’s behalf. However, the current Adviser on Economy, Hafeez Shiekh, is someone who has worked in the same capacity during the PPP tenure from 2007 to 2013. The said era is known as the darkest period of Pakistan’s recent history in terms of economic growth and sustainable development.

PPP chairman further said that the opposition gave the government a chance to present a people-friendly budget but they failed to do so. “We would have voted for such a budget but they presented an anti-people budget,” he added. The government did not leave a single chance to tax the poor and have given maximum relief to the rich in the ‘PTIMF’ budget,” he said, adding that the budget is “economic suicide” and it is responsibility of the opposition to stop the budget even if it means toppling the government.

Read more: PML-N, PPP set to launch anti-government protest after Eid

Economists believe that the budget presented by the government is fairly reasonable. Since the country is facing its worst economic crisis in history, it was quite expected that the budget presented by the government would be like this. However, according to government officials, every effort has been made to ensure that the poor is not burdened further.

He also said that he would talk to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman about the upcoming All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition parties. He hoped that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, would join them “with her honesty”. Maryam Nawaz has already hinted at launching the protest campaign against the government. “Nawaz Sharif was more concerned about the rapid economic deterioration & the common man’s ordeal than his frail health. He said that PML-N must respond to the aspirations of the masses, stand with them & become their voice,” she said in a tweet after a meeting with her father in Kot Lakhpat jail on 16th May.

The disagreement between the party President, Shahbaz Sharif, and Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, have been in the news lately which suggests that the PML-N senior leaders are not on the same page to launch an anti-government campaign.

On April 4, while addressing a ceremony on the 40th death anniversary of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari bashed the PTI government and threatened to topple it instantly. Mr. Zardari also announced that he would march towards Islamabad along with his party workers to oust the incumbent government. “The time has come that we stand up and save this country,” said Asif Ali Zardari.

Mr. Zardari has been arrested after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed his pre-arrest bail on fake bank accounts which, as per the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) version, helped him launder money.

Analysts believe that the PPP is non-existent in Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan in terms of population, and does not have mass support to pressurize the government. Similarly, the PML-N is facing a leadership crisis after the arrest of Nawaz Sharif. The disagreement between the party President, Shahbaz Sharif, and Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, have been in the news lately which suggests that the PML-N senior leaders are not on the same page to launch an anti-government campaign.

Read more: PPP workers clash with police as Bilawal, Zardari arrive at NAB…

It is believed that both Maryam and Bilawal are struggling to protect their fathers and the money they earned through unfair means. This will also help both young politicians to get the attention of media to seek public support in order to strengthen their political base. But the future of the campaign depends on as to how does the government respond to it? Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently given a clear statement in this regard. “I can sacrifice my life, not only the government, but will never allow these corrupt leaders loot the country,” he said while pressing upon the need of strict accountability.

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