Fight against terrorism instead of becoming facilitators, Bilawal tells KP govt

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PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses the press conference in Peshawar on July 8, 2024. — Screengrab via Geo News
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addresses the press conference in Peshawar on July 8, 2024. — Screengrab via Geo News
  • Former KP CM, speaker admitted to fund terrorist outfits: Bilawal.
  • Says PM assured to make future decisions after consulting PPP.
  • “Partisan politics shouldn’t be exercised on national security.”

After the federal government announced hosting an all-parties conference (APC) to discuss the newly-launched anti-terror operation, Azm-e-Istehkam, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has blamed the former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government for making grave mistakes in past which led to the resurgence of terrorism in the country.

“Terrorism is rising in KP and Balochistan provinces, once again,” Bilawal said in a press conference in Peshawar on Monday. 

He added that the armed forces had successfully defeated the terrorists and dismantled their networks across the country until the PTI government made some “grave mistakes”.

Bilawal, the former foreign minister, slammed ex-PM Imran Khan-led governments in the Centre and the KP, without naming him, for making serious mistakes which gave a new life to the terrorist organisations after militancy networks were dismantled by the security forces.

Pointing out the mistakes during the PTI rule, the PPP stalwart said that the KP government became a facilitator of terrorists instead of eliminating them for the last 15 years.

“If its ministers, officials, former chief minister and ex-speaker are admitting that they paid the terrorist outfits, if KP’s resources are used to fund them then how can we expect to effectively fight them,” he added.

He urged the KP government to play its role in coping with the terrorism issue.

Bilawal expressed his thoughts, saying: “PM Shehbaz Sharif takes a good decision to organise an APC to provide everyone an opportunity, including PPP and other political parties, to give their stances.”

It is noteworthy to mention here that the federal government decided to organise an APC “to gain political parties’ confidence in newly launched Operation Azm-e-Istehkam” — reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism drive — aiming to root out the menace of terrorism from the country. However, the government has yet to announce a date for the upcoming event.

“When it comes to national security,” Bilawal said, “partisan politics should not be exercised.”

He clarified that the PPP would firmly stand beside the country’s armed forces. “Whenever politics is needed, we will do it, but we are on the same page on security-related issues.”

The PPP leader added that his party would attend the forthcoming APC and hoped that the discussions would be held on “realities” instead of “hearsay”.

Bilawal said that past mistakes should not be repeated at any cost while making decisions to cope with the economy, foreign affairs and security-related challenges.

The PPP chief also urged the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to make decisions on national matters by taking all allies and stakeholders in confidence.

He said that his party has always asked the PML-N government to envisage policies after consultations.

Bilawal expressed sorrow that the PML-N government did not seek the PPP’s recommendations for the federal budget despite both ruling parties promising to consult each other in an agreement to form a coalition government.

He said that PM Shehbaz assured them to consult allies before making decisions in the future.

He added that they want to bring the country out of crisis. He, however, criticised the federal government for making a tax-heavy budget which would increase the burden on the poor segment of society.

Bilawal said that no government would be able to create a fiscal space for a welfare state until the provision of financial relief to the masses in the budget.

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