All set for PPP’s golden jubilee rally today in Islamabad

Bilawal asks Sharif to retire, Sherry Rehman says civilians have no control over foreign policy

December 05, 2017

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party chief, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Monday asked ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to retire from politics.

The PPP leader, while talking to journalists here said Sharif had no future in politics and the best thing for him was to hang up his boots once and for all.

“Nawaz Sharif should retire. He should announce the retirement as he has nothing left in politics. His retirement will be in the interest of the democracy,” he said.

Bilawal said that he was surprised why Sharif was adamant to contest polls and become prime minister again. “What else he wants from politics,” he said, about the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief who was disqualified as the premier in July this year.

Bilawal said he would share the party’s future plans during the PPP rally in Islamabad today (Tuesday) to mark the golden jubilee of the party’s foundation.

The PPP chief said the PML-N government had failed to deliver as for four years they did not even appoint a foreign minister. He said that only the PPP could drag the nation out of the persistent crises and put the country on the path to prosperity.

Meanwhile, PPP vice president Senator Sherry Rehman said the civilian government had no control over the country’s foreign policy.

She, while addressing a news conference at the Parade Ground here, said the government did not take the parliament into confidence on US Defence Secretary James Mattis’ visit.

“The US has been asking Pakistan to do more. We can also question them on their failures in Afghanistan,” Rehman said.

The senator said Pakistan also had to decide at what level Islamabad should engage with Iran, Saudi Arabia, China and other countries. She said the PPP government suspended the Nato supply for seven months and ultimately, the US apologised for Salala attack by the US-led Nato forces killing 28 Pakistani soldiers.

“For four years, we did not even have a foreign minister. We have to fill this gap. All the regional issues are not created by Pakistan. We need to clarify our position,” the lawmaker said.

The PPP leaders Khurshid Shah, Nayyer Bokhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed also spoke to the journalists.

They vowed to make the golden jubilee rally a success and win the 2018 polls. The PPP leaders criticised the government policies.

Khurshid Shah said the PPP was fighting for the rights of the people and would continue its mission. “The PPP will fulfil Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s dreams,” he asserted.

PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari also arrived in Islamabad on Monday and held meetings with the party leaders ahead of the Parade Ground rally . The PPP is set to organise a rally at the parade ground today to celebrate its 50 years.

Bilawal had announced last month that the rally was not being held on November 30th – the original foundation day - due to Eid Miladun Nabi.  All security arrangements have been finalised for the event.  The party claims a large number of activists will participate in the rally to be addressed by Bilawal and other party leaders.

Meanwhile, on Monday, PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate, Taj Haider said if the faulty methodology used in census 2017 was repeated once again in the Post Enumeration Survey of five per cent selected blocks by the same organisation that had carried out census 2017, “the results shall once again be controversial.”

Senator Haider said the de-jure method used in census 2017 had registered migrants in their provinces of origin and not in the provinces of their present residence.

He said it had also missed the illegal residents who were a great burden on the provinces in which they were residing. “The internationally accepted de-facto method which records residents at their present place of residence was the only method to record the population correctly and this method should be used in the Post Enumeration Survey of the five per cent selected blocks,” Senator Haider added.

He called for the use of internationally-recognised templates for enumeration. These returnable templates were supplied by the UN Population Fund free of cost. The data should also be sent online to the provincial governments to maintain transparency of the survey.