Bilawal challenges PM to debate

By: INP      Published: 10:31 PM, 25 Jun, 2020
Bilawal challenges PM to debate
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says prime minister's speech was meant to please his "selectors".–File photo

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday challenged Prime Minister Imran Khan to a debate on his policies either in the House or on a TV channel.

Speaking in the National Assembly after the prime minister’s speech, Bilawal said it was the speech of a puppet and the selected for his selectors. It was not a speech for people of Pakistan, he said. He said the prime minister had no plan to deal with Covid-19 and he was opposing lockdown.

He said the lockdown was the time to increase the health capacity of the country, lockdown was the time to equip the hospitals, lockdown was the time to increase ICU beds in hospitals and it was the time to plan to protect lives and health of people.

He said that Sindh was still doing the highest number of tests according to its population and the recovery rate was the highest in Sindh. He warned that no province would be able to take the burden of the number of patients if the situation persists due to failed policies of the prime minister.

The PPP chairman said, “If you want to return the amount to IMF then do not implement lockdown but it is your responsibility to save people from diseases and save their lives.” He said the prime minister was not ready to listen to any doctor or health expert. “It is like the time when there was war in Kargil, but we kept saying there was no war and our soldiers were being martyred. Similarly, now doctors and paramedics are getting infected with the disease and unfortunately succumbing to the disease, but our prime minister refuses to accept. No risk or any kind of allowance was announced in the budget for our doctors and paramedics who are fighting this pandemic and putting their own lives at risk.

“The foreign policy of the country is in shambles, as everyone knows what has happened to Indian-Occupied Kashmir. Prime minister’s attitude has been one of a coward and puppet. He is the prime minister who had said the Kashmir issue would be resolved after Narendra Modi’s re-election.

“India has been elected a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council with 184 votes out of 192 and the prime minister calls it a good foreign policy? Our relations with China were established by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. During this PTI government, China complained about irresponsible statements about CPEC.

“The prime minister is very fond of giving lectures, but he does not apply the things he preaches to himself. He said he would answer opposition’s questions in the House every Wednesday, but in the last two years he has never been ready to have a debate on any subject. Instead of lecturing us, I invited him to a debate, whether in the House or any television channel,” he said.

Bilawal said the PTI government has taken more loans than any other government in the history of Pakistan. “It is a fact that we achieved the lowest growth rate during this government. Imran Khan is trying to hide behind the Covid-19 pandemic, but he cannot. The economy was already sagging before the pandemic as has been claimed by government documents. “We could have let him hide behind the pandemic if he had taken care of our doctors and paramedics and had looked after the people of Pakistan,” he said.

He said that locust was attacking crops all over the country and the government was not able to control it despite the fact that “we have been warning the government of this threat”. Now, Pakistan will be facing the threats of pandemic and food security. He said the PPP would not leave people of Pakistan alone.

The PPP chairman said the government did not run a campaign to educate people about Covid-19 in their mother tongue. He said no such campaign was run either on state radio and television. “Now, this defeated puppet comes in the House and goes away after delivering his speech, but he is still not ready to take the responsibility of the people of the country,” he said.