ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Peoples Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on Wednesday, predicted a wave of unemployment in the country.

He urged the federal government to stop “conspiring against the workers and laborers employed by state owned enterprises,” adding that any layoff by the government, semi-government or state corporation employees would be vehemently resisted.

In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and some of his cabinet members were “involved in a plot to unleash a wave of unemployment and chaos and create a situation to sell off state owned enterprises for peanuts to their invisible partners.”

He added that the Pakistan International Airlines and Pakistan Steel, two of Pakistan’s biggest assets, had been targeted by the federal government from day one of its induction and slowly it had set into motion its plan to deprive thousands of workers and millions of their family members of their livelihoods.

The PPP Chairman said the federal government imposed the Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952, on the PIA and banned the employees union, a blatantly unconstitutional move that laid bare their conspiracy to deprive the rights of the workers and unveiled their nefarious plans for privatization.

He pointed out that it was “Imran Khan who had stood at the gates of Pakistan Steel Mill and promised that he had experts  who would restore Pakistan Steel to its former glory and bring its operations to full capacity, but now he had gone back on his words and was advancing the agenda of  those who planned to sell it to their friends and benefactors.”

Bilawal claimed that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s slogan to provide 10 million jobs was an “eyewash to dupe the poor and unemployed and its government’s legacy would be one of the economic devastation of the poor.”

The PPP Chairman said that his party would not allow any layoff, right-sizing or down-sizing in any sector.

He warned that PPP would resist these steps at any cost and would lead the entire nation against the “government’s abdication of its responsibilities to the workers of state owned enterprises as it continues to display heartlessness by firing people during a pandemic.”

Meanwhile, the PPP alleged the National Accountability Bureau was only active against the opposition.

Earlier in the day, NAB Rawalpindi summoned Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah to appear today (June 4) in fake bank accounts and solar lights cases.

The anti-corruption watchdog wrote a letter to Islamabad police for security arrangements of the CM during the appearance. This will be second appearance of Sindh CM before the NAB in these cases.

PPP leader Palwasha Khan said the fact that the CM was summoned to Rawalpindi itself looked like a  “conspiracy.”

In a statement, she said the Sindh CM had more important things to do than appearing in NAB cases.

“Tell us if the CM should protect the people from coronavirus, fight the locust or face NAB,” she said.

Palwasha Khan claimed the NAB was silent in Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cases.

She said the country was knee-deep in Covid-19 and locust issue and the government was targeting the opposition.