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Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan would be sent packing till the end of this year. Talking to media persons outside Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after having a meeting with his father and former president Asif Ali Zardari, the PPP chairman said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is not letting the Parliament work and not giving the House respect.

He said that his party would also take action like Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Azadi March if political rivals are locked in jails. Speaking about Azadi March, Bilawal said that party's consultative meeting has been summoned to discuss the matter in detail. "We want democracy in the country. We are moving forward raising the flag of democracy," he said.

Regarding Asif Ali Zardari, he said that Zardari is sick but his motivation is high, adding that he neither ran from the country in the past nor would he flee now. "The former president is not being provided medical facilities in jail," he added. He said that health facilities are not being provided to Asif Ali Zardari as suggested by the government's own officials and jail and NAB doctors including those of PIMS, which is run by the government.

"Zardari is a brave leader of our party; he will not retreat from his principles and ideology. We have been fighting our cases in the courts and we still hope that our institutions of justice will protect our and every other Pakistani's human rights. We will keep on fighting our cases and will present our points in front of the courts," he said.

Answering a question he said that as far as the decision regarding the deputy speaker is concerned, the Supreme Court's decision is for everyone to see "and the selected deputy speaker was deselected but has been reselected. Let's see what the concluding decision by the court is, we know if all the bags are opened, no one of the selected people will last."

Answering another question, Bilawal said, "I have met with JUI-F, PML-N and ANP leadership and we are in contact with other parties as well. We have also called a party meeting and PPP's consistent view since day one is democracy. PPP demands for democracy, free media, free judiciary and economic justice to the people of Pakistan. This is the manifesto of PPP and we will strive for it."

He said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced his Azaadi March and PPP will provide him all moral and political support and PPP's own protest and struggle is under way. "We are adamant on our stand that Imran Khan's government will have to step down by the end of this year," he said. "PPP thinks if governments are sent home by the sit-in politics, the system is harmed. However, my principles and morals obviously differ but if the government, state, democratic rights, economic rights and human rights are constantly attacked then I will be compelled to take part not only in a long march or protests but also to have a sit-in at Islamabad." he said.

Answering a question about a meeting of industrialists, Bilawal said, "I do not think that there has been such a statement from the Army Chief because our military institution stays very apolitical and if its leadership gives such a statement then it becomes political. I do not think that our military leadership has given any political statement or has sided with any political party.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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