Karachi - Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday targeted Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking U-turns during his first 100 days and announced to challenge the government on different issues for the good of the people.

In response to PM Khan’s recent statement that war on terror ‘is not our war’, Bilawal said the prime minister disrespected those who sacrificed their lives for the country by saying so. He said it surely “is our war” and “it is the matter of our survival and future”.

The PPP leader was addressing a public gathering in Sukkur organised to commemorate PPP’S 51st foundation day. The event was held at the Sports Complex and separate enclosures were setup for male and female attendants.

The capacity for the staged venue was 40,000 however the PPP leaders claimed a crowd of over one lakh that came from different parts of the country.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that religion should not be used for political purposes and this was said by the PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when he laid foundation of the party.

“It was dictators who had used religion in politics to further their vested interests and it was due to their policies that the country is still in bad shape,” he said.

PPP chairman said that Islam is the religion of peace but unfortunately it was politicised and thus there were elements who justified their violent acts in its name.

He said that unfortunately the prime minister [Imran Khan] has termed that ‘war on terror is not ours’ – that too in front of the families of martyrs.

“So for which cause those policemen and security personnel laid down their lives,” he posed the question, and added that our forces fought against the enemies who killed innocent people and also targeted the security forces of the country.

He said that whether Imran admits or not this war is Pakistan’s war and it is for the future of this country. “[And] these martyrs are ours,” he added.

Bilawal said that PPP had always fought against the anti-democratic forces in the country. “We fought a blue-eyed politician before and now there is another blue-eyed politician who has been given government, “he said, adding that this politician would face the same fate as did the earlier one.

He also criticised the PM for his remarks on U-turns and said that the true leader is not the one who takes U-turns rather he stands firm on his promises as PPP founder Zulfikar Bhutto did who fought the cause of the masses and accepted death but did not bow down to oppressors. Bilawal said that this is for the first time that a government is losing confidence of masses so rapidly.

He said that the PTI is targeting its opponents in the guise of accountability but it had itself shut down accountability commission in KPK and those wanted by it were awarded ministries.

“Why a disqualified person [Jehangir Tareen] is heading country’s agriculture reforms committee and a land grabber [Aleem Khan] calling shots in the campaign against encroachments.”

The PTI promised to depoliticise institutions but instead transferred IG Islamabad, IG Punjab and DPO Pakpattan for political reasons.

“A Peshawar police officer, SP Tahir Dawar was abducted and his tortured body was found from Afghanistan,” he added.

No progress was made on formation of South Punjab province despite promises but PPP would not remain silent unless the province is created, the PPP leader said.

He said that now they are targeting 18th amendment and a bid is underway to subvert the rights given to provinces. Those in power are trying to lead the country towards a One Unit programme.

“PPP will strongly resist any bid to target the 18th amendment and NFC award,” he vowed.

He asked as to what Imran Khan did to address the issues of missing persons in Balochistan, Fata merger, uplift package for Karachi. “What have you done except taking U-turns in first 100 days of government, he asked.

Listing his U-turns, Bilawal said that PM Khan promised to eradicate poverty but it seems that they are out at eliminating the poor instead through hike in prices of fuel, electricity and gas.

“Poor are being deprived of their businesses and residences in the guise of anti-encroachment drive,” he said while targeting PTI’s promises on housing projects and employment to the masses.

“If you want to take a U-turn then take it on the hike in prices of petrol, electricity and gas,” he said and asked as to why Rs250 billion funds for uplift projects were cut. He claimed that the foreign investment has witnessed a record 35 percent decrease in the 100 days.

Bilawal blamed Khan for excessive electricity loadshedding in Sindh province, record circular debt, making CPEC project controversial and creating suspicions among friendly countries.

He said that such policies have created crisis of leadership in the country and has put the interest of the country at risk.

“We will take the country out of this risky situation and make every effort to obstruct way of this U-turn government,” he said, adding they would choose the path of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and safeguard the interests of the masses.

He also sought support from masses for PPP so it could “once again guide the country on the path envisioned by Quaid -e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Zulfikar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto”.

Addressing the gathering, PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari said that some elements were trying to attack the 18th amendment but they should remember that he did not bring it for himself; rather, it was introduced for strengthening the federation.

He said that people still remember Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for his democratic struggle but the dictators Zia ul Haq and Pervez Musharraf are nowhere to be seen in the picture. “The future is of PPP as it has a glorious past and a vibrant present,” he said.

Akhunzada Chatan, Shugufta Jumani, Ali Madad Jatak, PPP South Punjab chief Makhdom Ahmed Mehmood, PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, PPP Sindh chapter president Nisar Khuhro, Aitezaz Ahsan and others also addressed the event.

A documentary titled Dastan e Jamhoor depicting the struggle of Zulfikar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for democracy in the country was also shown. A poem, ‘Main Baghi Hun’ recited by Benazir was also played during the event.