KARACHI (Web Desk): PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday stressed that the Sindh government would ensure that efforts by some “scheming forces” to disturb peace in the province failed, vowing “we will not allow anyone to bring (MQM-London founder) Altaf Hussain’s politics back in this province.”
He made the comments while addressing an event at the Sindh Assembly being held to mark former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s 68th birth anniversary.
Bilawal claimed that an efforts were being made to declare as “terrorists” the intellectuals in Sindh, who always wrote for the people and shaped their opinion.
“Sindh’s youths are identified as terrorists and [associated] with Altaf Hussain’s politics. We will not allow anyone to bring back that type of politics in the province,” he vowed.
“Together, we all established peace in this province and if scheming forces are trying to give a wrong colour, [if they] will try to disturb that peace, then we will defeat it,” he added.
Bilawal said there was a lot of “out of context” criticism on Karachi, telling the officials present, “your duty is to represent the people of this province, protect their rights and not listen to any nonsense.”
He claimed that misunderstandings had been created among the people and the party would have to make sure that they were resolved through its political efforts and outreach. “[PPP] is the only party that genuinely wants to find solutions to the people’s problems,” he added.
Talking about the anti-encroachment operations along the Gujjar nullah, Bilawal said the government was acting on court orders but a “very bad” impression was being given that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Banigala residence could be regularised but the “houses along Gujjar nullah had to be demolished at any cost.”
He said that in the middle of a global pandemic, not only compensation should be provided but people should be given a new home before making them homeless, calling for legislation in this regard.
Bilawal said Sindh was the “only province where the government cannot allocate land”, saying the decision would have to be reviewed and the provincial government granted permission so it could “give people their land”.
“We have to ensure protection for poor people. PPP makes homes, we do not demolish them but if we are forced to do so due to some legal reason, we hope the federal government will play its role in not snatching the basic right of people in a hurry and taking care of them.”
Bilawal said Sindh was a “peaceful province” where people from all over the country came to live and work. “We will protect the peace but we will have to take steps so the people who have been led astray return to the right path.”
The PPP chairperson said there “really is a sense of deprivation” among the province’s people, noting it was a valid demand that locals should be prioritised for employment in real estate development companies in Sindh to create a sense of ownership.
“It remains a duty for us to look at [facilities for] health, sewerage, drainage and education. A social contract is very necessary for any kind of project so local people get development and progress and their sense of deprivation is reduced.”
Bilawal said there should be a forum that provides legal aid to citizens who have been defrauded by private real estate developers.
In an apparent reference to the protest against Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) earlier this month, in which vehicles and offices were set ablaze by a mob, Bilawal said the government “will not give anyone the right to come and burn things”.
“Peaceful protest is a right [but] there is no right to [commit] arson, riot or violence,” he added.
He said another important demand of the people that should be fulfilled was the money of the people of Malir, whose lands were taken for BTK, which should be “immediately given” to them.
He cautioned that “forces who want to trigger fighting in the province and do not want to see economic development” would take advantage of the situation if the government did not find solutions to problems from every angle.