KARACHI: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Tuesday demanded that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi either resign from his position or withdraw his statement against his party.
The foreign minister had earlier addressed a session of the Senate, where he spoke at length about PPP’s style of governance and the participation of the province in national decision-making.
FM Qureshi said that the PPP was focused on only provincial politics rather than thinking for the entire country. He also said that it was not true that the federal government had abandoned Sindh.
In reaction to Qureshi’s criticism, Bilawal said that the minister has also accused him of using the “Sindh card”.
He said that he has been raising his voice for all the issues pertaining to the provinces, without any such intention in mind.
Responding to Qureshi’s comments that the PTI will make inroads in Sindh as it did in other provinces such as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Bilawal said: “What sort of politics is this? What do you mean you will prove your political mettle in Sindh?”
He said that politicking of this nature damages the federation and it goes against national unity.
Speaking on his father’s health, Bilawal said that former president Asif Ali Zardari has been undergoing treatment and is better now.
Bilawal also criticised the PTI-led government, saying that the prime minister is focused on industrialists even during the pandemic.
“No poor Pakistani has benefitted from the stimulus package announced by Imran Khan,” he said, adding that Sindh is being deprived of “relief”.
“The prime minister should have attended the Senate session. These are crucial times for the country when Pakistan wants PM Imran to lead from the front,” said Bilawal.
‘Speech on record, won’t resign’
Speaking to Geo News after the PPP chairman’s media briefing, Qureshi said that his speech is on the record and that he will not resign.
In an apparent clarification regarding his address, the foreign minister said that the Centre is ready to help Sindh and listen to its recommendations, adding that he never said that the 18th Amendment was being altered.
“We are aware of the importance of the 18th Amendment and the provincial autonomy under it, then why is he (Bilawal) making an issue?” said the minister.
Qureshi said that the Centre has to make its own decisions despite recommendations.
While responding to his statement regarding the PTI flexing its muscles in Sindh, the foreign minister said that Karachi is the capital of Sindh and PTI has the biggest mandate in the port city.
He said that in his speech he meant to point out that PPP used to have a centre-oriented way of thinking, as per the politics of late Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
The FM added that Bilawal should refrain from reactionary politics and the federal government is open to recommendations from the PPP.