Pakistan needs political consensus on new National Action Plan, says Bilawal

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari  Saturday urged all political parties to come on the same page regarding combatting terrorism.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief observed that enough actions were not taken against terrorism.

I have been saying since day one that the National Action Plan is not being implemented, Bilawal said, adding that Pakistan needs a new one.

Bilawal Bhutto announced the cancellation of his rally, to be held in Malakand in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, following the tragic incident in Balochistan that left over 150 people injured yesterday.

“We had a power show scheduled in Malakand but that too cannot be held now. Extremism and terrorism have resurfaced. What was needed to be done to curb these menaces has not been done,” he said wile addressing a press confer.

Bilawal was scheduled to leave Peshawar for Malakand this morning, and lead a rally from Sakhakot to Batkhela before addressing a public meeting at Zafar Park in the evening.

However, KP and the neighbouring Balochistan have been hit by three major terrorist attacks this week, together claiming the lives of around 150 people.

KP’s district administration also refused to grant PPP the permission to go ahead with its planned events, and advised Bilawal to remain within the cantonment areas.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Saturday said that the people of Pakistan are mourning following the Mastung blast that claimed 128 lives including Nawabzada Siraj Raisani.

“Extremism and terrorism are resurfacing. It is regrettable that a solution to these problems has not been found to date,” said the election-hopeful, contesting the upcoming polls from NA-200 Larkana.

The PPP chief complained that hindrances were being created in the party’s campaign for the upcoming General Election 2018. “We are being stopped at different places,” he noted.

Speaking about the fatal attack on Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour, Bilawal said PPP had postponed a power show in solidarity with the slain politician. However, he also expressed the party’s strong resolve to contest the polls.

“Peoples Party will take part in the election, and enthusiastically so, despite the current circumstances,” he stressed, adding that his party had always faced difficult times head-on.

The young politician complained that he had met with many difficulties ever since he had left Karachi for the party’s election campaign.

He said the people and party workers in Malakand have been expecting him to visit the area but he does not want to put their lives at risk nor does he think it is appropriate for there to be big political shows at a time when the people of Pakistan, especially the people of Balochistan, are mourning.

He said it has become apparent from the rising number of terrorist activities in the country that the work that should have been done has not been done.

He lamented that till today we have not been able to resolve this issue nor have we maintained a consensus on the issue.

“During the election season, such incidents are particularly alarming and seem part and parcel of what is not a level playing field for all political parties,” he said.

“In Pakistan obviously there are security risks. There are terrorist attacks. The ANP and BAP are mourning their workers and leaders and cannot engage freely in political activities,” he said.

As far as the PPP is concerned, the party chairperson said, threats aside, they are not being given a level playing field either. “I have said before that we are being stopped at various locations and members of my party are being pressured,” he said.


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