Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday unleashed a trenchant criticism of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) over what he called taking “U-turns” on Kashmir issue.
Addressing a rally from Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Islamgarh as part of the party’s campaign for the July 25 elections, Bilawal said that Kashmiris will not take dictation be it from New Delhi or Bani Gala, an area of Islamabad where Prime Minister Imran Khan resides.
“Our Jiyalas [PPP workers] will make them (PML-N and PTI) run away from Kashmir… we’re not like them… we do not take U-turns like these two parties,” he added.
The PPP leader said that the PTI’s policy about Kashmir has been confused from day one. “Imran Khan takes U-turn on Kashmir. First, he says that until the August 5 move is not reversed, we will not talk [with India] but later, he says trade with India is necessary.”
He said that the PTI policy on Kashmir is confused and therefore such rulers do not deserve to govern either Pakistan or AJK. “Only you can save Kashmir [with your votes] from these puppets,” he added.
He said that PM Imran was trying to issue an ordinance to give NRO (amnesty) to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav but PPP disclosed the scheme. “The PPP will never be a part of any such move.”
Bilawal also said that he had heard that PM Imran is giving away money to buy votes in the AJK election. “Don’t they know they cannot buy the vote of honourable Kashmiris? The Kashmiri people are honourable and loyal. They are not for sale,” he added.
Taking aim at former ally the PML-N, he said that the party is also confused. “The PML-N has two narratives. We ask them, ‘are you following the narrative of bare miyan sab (Nawaz Sharif) or chote miyan sb (Shehbaz Sharif)’ but we don’t get a clear answer. Do you want to give your vote to such a confused party?” he asked the participants.
The PPP chief further said that his party wanted to get rid of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and PM Imran but the PML-N did not support them. “We do not invite Modi to our weddings. We believe whosoever is against Kashmiris, we’re against them as well.”
He said that the PPP has always maintained that Kashmir’s destiny would be decided only by Kashmiris themselves and to this day, we have continued this policy. “If you want to save Kashmir then vote for teer (arrow – the election symbol of PPP).”
Bilawal said that PML-N’s Vice President Maryam Nawaz was also campaigning in AJK, asking his party workers not to use foul language against her. “We all have to give her respect. No PPP worker will say any bad word about her. We might be against their politics and we should never get personal.”
He further said that when Maryam Nawaz was arrested, he was the only one raising his voice for her in the National Assembly.