Pakistan People’s Party to field Bilawal Bhutto for PM, Zardari for president | World News

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Faisal Karim Kundi, the Information Secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), on Thursday said that party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be the candidate for the position of prime minister, while his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, will be nominated for the role of president in the upcoming elections, Dawn reported.

Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (AFP)
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (AFP)

This statement follows recent remarks by Zardari, who had indicated that the party had yet to finalise its candidate for the prime ministerial role. When asked if Bilawal could be the nominee, Zardari mentioned that Bilawal, himself, or Khurshid Shah could be potential candidates.

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“Bilawal can be the (candidate) and I can be too … Khurshid Shah also says he can be made (the prime minister),” he said.

In a media briefing in Islamabad, Faisal Kundi confirmed Bilawal’s candidacy for the prime minister’s seat, expressing the party’s desire to replicate the scenario of the 2018 elections and see Asif Zardari become the president again, according to Dawn.

“Our wish will be that we replay 2018 and make Asif Zardari the president,” he added, possibly referring to the 2008 elections when Zardari was elected as the president.

Kundi emphasised the PPP’s stance that the elections “should not be delayed” beyond February 8, 2024.

“It is better than selection and becoming a laadla (favourite) that we sit in the opposition,” Kundi said in an apparent reference to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

He criticised the PML-N’s reluctance to participate in elections, calling it “drawing room politics” and questioned why a party claiming to be the country’s largest was avoiding the electoral process.

Kundi compared the popularity of rallies held by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam with those led by Bilawal, asserting that the nation was in favour of the PPP. He declared that the party was “fully ready” for the upcoming general elections.

Regarding reports of a potential social media ban during elections, Kundi argued against it, stating that such a ban would go against freedom of expression, and the public had the right to express their opinions.

Addressing Nawaz Sharif’s recent acquittals in graft cases, Kundi criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), claiming it had been historically used for political engineering. He called for clarity on whether NAB was wrong in the past or if it is wrong today, emphasising that NAB is an institution, not anyone’s property, as reported by Dawn.

“The same NAB used to make cases against Nawaz Sharif and is now acquitting him one after another,” he remarked, adding, “The public should be informed whether the NAB was wrong in the past or is wrong today. The NAB is not anyone’s property but an institution.”

Condemning the recent terrorist attack in Dera Ismail Khan, where terrorists attacked a military compound resulting in the death of 23 soldiers, Kundi reiterated the PPP’s call for the implementation of the National Action Plan.

In reference to the Supreme Court’s consideration of a presidential reference after more than a decade, Kundi called for justice for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, stating that those involved in his martyrdom should be punished, irrespective of their roles as bureaucrats, judges, or lawyers, Dawn reported.

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