Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari accuses prime minister of trying to turn all major institutions into his private ‘Tiger Force’
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will continue to target the incumbent government and its anti-people policies until Prime Minister Imran Khan has been ousted from his office, party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Sunday.
Addressing a rally in Karachi to mark the anniversary of the 2007 Karsaz bombing targeting Benazir Bhutto’s convoy, he said Khan would not be allowed to escape accountability. “PPP jiyalas will not spare him. Whenever he speaks, he makes a mistake. Now we are warning Khan that his days are numbered,” he said, adding that in the coming days PPP leaders would organize corner meetings against inflation and poverty at the district level.
He recalled that Khan used to say that “when inflation rises, it means the prime minister is corrupt.” Now, he said, “the country is at a historic high of inflation, which means that we have the most corrupt prime minister in the history of Pakistan.”
Accusing the government of endangering public welfare and boosting poverty by dismissing the Pakistan Steel workers en masse, he said it had also done a “disservice” to education by introducing the Single National Curriculum—which the PPP-led Sindh government has refused to implement. “This cruel government believes in political victimization. Till date, the government is summoning president [Asif Ali] Zardari in fake NAB cases,” he alleged, maintaining that the PPP respected democracy and the judiciary.
“Our Khursheed Shah has been in jail for two years. Several of our leaders are behind the bars, but we didn’t step back from our stance,” he said and lashed out at the “dual system” of the judiciary, which imprisoned opposition politicians while not taking any action against members of the federal cabinet accused of tax avoidance in the Pandora Papers. The PPP leader also lashed out at the media, urging his supporters to not listen to anyone who speaks against the party.
The PPP chairman continued his criticism of the prime minister by accusing him of trying to turn all the country’s institutions into his personal “Tiger Force,” warning that the current state of affairs was not “change” but rather “destruction.” The ‘Tiger Force’ refers to the Corona Relief Tiger Force, which was formed by the government last year, ostensibly to ensure the implementation of standard operating procedures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Immediately controversial, the group of volunteers was often described as an attempt by Khan to assemble a private army of youth.
“Imran Khan is trying to turn all institutions of the country into his Tiger Force. He attacked the Parliament, Senate, judiciary, ECP [Election Commission of Pakistan], Punjab police, and Punjab bureaucracy, as he changed the Punjab police chief and chief secretary many times. No institution is left as he is even trying to make the media his Tiger Force,” Bhutto-Zardari claimed. “He [Imran Khan] is also trying to turn the Army and ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] into his Tiger Force,” he added, in a likely reference to the ongoing controversy over the PTI-led government’s refusal to issue a notification on the appointment of the next ISI chief, despite the ISPR having done so two weeks back.
During his speech, the PPP chairman vowed that he could continue his mother’s “incomplete” mission to serve the masses. “I promise that we will increase salaries, pensions, and provide employment to the youth of this country on the very first day we assume power,” he claimed, adding that “everyone” could see that the next government would be formed by the PPP. “We will establish a democratic system following the principles of Bhutto and steer the masses out of the crises,” he said, stressing that all the crises created by the incumbent government couldn’t be resolved immediately.