GILGIT    -   Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that his party has been demanding free and fair elections since 1977.

Upcoming election in Gilgit-Baltistan was a test case for government but unfortunately the PPP was being given a level playing field. He warned the administration to keep away from sectarian designa, otherwise there could be violence which was not in favour of Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference in Gilgit, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that elections in GB were not going to be free and fair. PPP exhausted all legal avenues for ensuring free and fair elections but he was stopped from running election campaign. The election laws are made so that no one can use government resources and position to influence the elections but the ‘selected’ prime minister and his ministers openly violated the election laws and ran the election campaign in GB. “On the other hand they wanted to throw us out of GB in the name of implementing election laws. Today (13 November) the PPP had its last public gathering in Gilgit but the administration stopped me from addressing the meeting. This is unlawful and illegal but we want peace in GB,” Chairman PPP said he was deprived of his right. In a court decision, similar restrictions were put on him as on the ministers. The court decision was a split decision and this amounts to depriving him of his rights. This is injustice. This is not the playing field we thought will be provided to us in these elections. Ministers are announcing billions of funds but the people of GB will defeat all designs and will vote for the PPP candidates.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that there is still time to save these elections from becoming disputed elections. He asked the institutions not to make GB elections disputed. 

“The entire world is watching these elections. We cannot afford to have a rigged election in GB. If the people’s vote is stolen then there could be protest and violence. Administration’s job is to maintain peace. “Sectarianism is being propagated in some parts of GB in these elections. This could become a big threat. The PPP will defeat these efforts. The way IJI was formed against Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and similarly another alliance has been formed in GB in these elections. We will not let anyone steal mandate of the people. The journalists and the cameramen are witness to the enthusiastic welcome, we received in every part of GB from Khaplu to Skardu, Shigar to Astore and Gilgit to Nagar.” He said that he was thankful to every person who attended his corner meetings and gatherings including the journalists, photo-journalists and cameramen.

Chairman PPP said that he hopes that on 15th November people of GB will come out to vote for their rights and vote for PPP. He said that the PPP had three main rights for the people of GB in its manifesto. The right to rule, the right to property and the right to employment are the promises the PPP has made. These are the demands of the people of GB and they are striving for these rights. The right to rule means separate GB province with all constitutional rights. The right to send their representatives in the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan. The right to choose prime minister and even become prime minister of Pakistan. The right to property is to own a property in GB so that they become legal owner of their land and the resources of GB. 

The right to employment is the right to have first right of employment in every project in GB including in the projects under CPEC. The first right of employment is of the people of GB and Balochistan in the CPEC projects. We want a prosperous GB. PPP always delivers employment to the people and we never deprive people of their right to employment.

He said that the PPP had conceived the idea of CPEC. The relation of PPP and Chinese communist party go back three generations like we have relations with the people of GB. We can facilitate the people of GB to get employment in CPEC projects.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that no other party has any manifesto for GB whereas the PPP had promised these rights to the people of GB in its manifesto for 2018 elections. The manifesto of PTI is one of destruction like it has done to the rest of Pakistan. PTI always make false promises like the promise of South Punjab province, one crore jobs and 50 lac houses. The PTI cannot snatch victory from the PPP in GB elections. The people of GB have spoken and on 15 November they will vote for PPP for their rights. The PPP will win in GB with clear majority. He said that the people of GB will not disappoint him and in return he will not disappoint them.

Responding to a question he said that it was essential that elections are fair and transparent otherwise the people will strongly protest. He said that PTI has no manifesto for these elections and they had never thought of a province for GB and they are promising to make GB a province on someone’s dictation. PPP will protect food security for GB and will not allow imposing increased taxes. The puppet is unable to wage a political struggle. The people are against this anti-people party called PTI. He said that he does not want any favors but his rights. On a question about dialogue with establishment, he said that PDM will decide the issue. He said that he demanded GB province in his 2018 manifesto and now it is the victory of jiyalas that the national security people and other political parties have come to the page of jiyalas.