KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday struck a conciliatory tone urging Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to join the Charter of Democracy (CoD) signed by the two major political parties. invited to do so. None of them seek military support to seize power or overthrow democratic governments.
Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a free diagnostic testing facility under the JDC Foundation, the PPP leader maintained a soft approach towards rival PTI while announcing the election date. Although he did not rule out the possibility of electoral cooperation with the party, he did not appear to be very supportive of the PTI’s recent attempts to malign state institutions ahead of the upcoming elections.
Replying to a question on possible electoral cooperation between PPP and PTI in Punjab, Bhutto-Zardari said, “We have not taken any decision in this regard yet.”
“As far as the Charter of Democracy is concerned, I think all political parties in this country should join the CoD. It is very good that the PTI also recognizes the Charter of Democracy and joins.”
Suggests PTI to join Charter of Democracy.welcome election date announcement
Under Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship, the then exiled leaderships of the PPP and PML-N came close for the first time in their political history, working together and signing a CoD in London in May 2006, establishing a harmonious new politics. The idea was to establish a system. and Pakistan’s reconciliation to ensure the continuation of its often derailed democratic institutions.
The document, signed by two former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, became the source of a joint movement against the military junta in the country.
‘Welcome to the club’
On the occasion, the PPP Chairman welcomed the election date announcement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) but reiterated the complaint that a level playing field was not provided to all political parties participating in the elections. Still, he seemed confident that the PPP would form the next government.
“All political parties need to have a level playing field in the general election,” he said.
“The PPP has never been given a level playing field in past elections, not even in 1988 or 2008. [elections], we did not have a level playing field, but nevertheless we secured our mandates and established our government. The problem with PTI is that it demands a level playing field only for itself and not other parties.If they [PTI] Although I am facing some challenges in my first election, I just want to say welcome to the club.”
Meanwhile, Bhutto Zardari said it was a “great achievement” for all political parties that the ECP had finally officially announced the dates for the general elections. However, he said it would have been better for the ECP itself to specify the election date and there would have been no need for the Supreme Court to intervene. “Well, whatever happened, it’s over now. The elections should be held on February 8,” he said.
However, the PPP chairman declined to comment on the recent statements of his former ally and leader of his faction, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The possibility of a general election remains in doubt.
violation of rights
Meanwhile, the former foreign minister also questioned the method of repatriation of Afghans living in Pakistan illegally.
He opposed the repatriation process, calling it a human rights violation. You can’t do the right job the wrong way, he said.
“We are very clear about this and have very strict policies when it comes to issues related to human rights,” Bhutto Zardari said.
“Appropriate mechanisms exist to deal with any illegal activity. However, we believe that whatever is currently happening raises some questions about that process. The law must be followed. However, established human rights rules should not be violated in the process.”
Published at Dawn on November 4, 2023