General

Faryal Talpur won’t contest Senate election, says Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Thursday that MNA Faryal Talpur will either contest an election for the National or Sindh Assembly, but not the Senate.
The PPP chairman refuted the reports of MNA Faryal Talpur contesting senate elections, saying it was a perfect example of fake news.
“Fake News is nothing new for us in Pakistan, especially 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
Asked whether his party will be able to maintain its majority in the Senate in 2018, the PPP chairman said it is a difficult task since the Senate elections are based on one’s strength in the provincial assemblies.
“But we outperformed our strength in provincial assemblies in the previous election, and I understand that this time too we will perform beyond expectations.”
In Punjab, he said, these two brothers (Sharif brother) cannot even address a rally together. “So we will take advantage of this fight within the house of Sharifs, and try selecting candidates from every province.”
Commenting on horse-trading allegations in Balochistan, Bilawal said he does not understand as to how can someone do it when he does not even have MPAs in the province.
Asked about labelling of the PPP as a pro-establishment party by the opponents, the PPP chairman maintained that his party had nothing to do with change of government in Balochistan and that the rivals are giving such excuses to hide their own failures.
Performance
“We have done enough,” he said, when asked about performance of his party-led government in Sindh in recent years.
“Our biggest problem was maternal and infant mortality rate and we have reduced this by 50 per cent during the past five years.”
The PPP chairman said the provincial government has been focusing on public health and has established several heart hospitals Larkana, Tando Mohammad Khan, Hyderabad and other cities.
“People get treated at these hospitals free of cost and we will open such heart hospitals in every city,” he said.
Bilawal said his party has worked a lot to reduce poverty in the province.
“You already know of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), which is acknowledged on international level as well. But in Sindh, we have been running anti-poverty programs up to union council level,” he said, explaining that poor women are being provided interest-free loans under these programs, helping them start their own businesses.
“We took 6 million people out of poverty through these programs.”
The PPP chairman further said his government set up 700 water filtration plants in Thar alone.
Questioned about Karachi garbage piles, he said the provincial government is also working on this.
Bilawal said that it will take time, reiterating that the provincial government has primarily been focused on human development.
Sindh police & encounters
Questioned about the Sindh police and recent extrajudicial killings, the PPP chairman said he is concerned about these encounters, which have 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.”
Nehal Hashmi’s disqualification
While speaking about Hashmi’s disqualification announced 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.
When asked if he was equating former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal replied in the affirmative.
“I want the same law for everyone,” Bilawal said.
BB murder case
During the interview, the PPP chairman was also inquired about evidence, if any, in support of his allegations against Pervez Musharraf of murdering his mother and former premier Benazir Bhutto.
Bilawal said, “We have the time declaration of Shaheed Bibi…it turned out in investigations that Musharraf purposely sabotaged her security. He can’t explain why he threatened [Benazir].”
“This is also on record that Musharraf told Benazir ‘Your Security is directly linked to your cooperation with me’,” he said.
The PPP chairman questioned why were the crime scenes of Karsaz and Liaquat Bagh bombings in Karachi and Rawalpindi were washed.
Bilawal termed the former president an “absconder,” who, he said, is scared and not facing the courts, for he knows he is “guilty.”
He maintained that former PPP government has done more than any other government in regard of solving the Benazir Bhutto murder case.