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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
10 Muharram 1446  

Centre should have consulted PPP before budget: Bilawal

PPP holds rally on Benazir Bhutto’s birth anniversary in Karachi's Lyari
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a party rally in Karachi on June 21, 2024. Photo via X/@MediaCellPPP
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addresses a party rally in Karachi on June 21, 2024. Photo via X/@MediaCellPPP

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the federal government should have consulted them before the annual budget as he vowed to continue the legacy of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“We are determined to carry forward the struggle of Bibi Shaheed [Benazir Bhutto],” he said while addressing the PPP rally in Karachi’s Lyari on Friday held to mark the birth anniversary of her mother and former PM.

Benazir was the first woman prime minister in the Muslim world. Bilawal made his entry into politics after his mother was assassinated on December 27, 2007, in Rawalpindi.

His father and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari led the party affairs after the demise of Benazir.

In his speech, Bilawal acknowledged the dire economic situation facing the country, stating, “The economic conditions of the country are before everyone.”

He added that the incumbent government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was making efforts to address the economic crisis. But he also criticised the government for not consulting his party prior to the budget announcement. “The government should have consulted us before the budget, and if our input had been there, it would have been better,” Bilawal said.

Despite the differences, he noted that the party’s representatives were still engaging with the government. “Even today, our representatives are sitting with the government,” he stated, reaffirming the party’s commitment to finding solutions for the country’s economic woes.

Bilawal expressed hope that the prime minister would fulfil his promises, saying: “We hope that PM Shehbaz Sharif will fulfil his commitments.”

He vowed that the PPP would always be the voice of the people and continue its struggle to ensure their rights. “We will always raise the voice of the people, and our struggle to get their rights will continue,” the PPP chairman said.

At the start of his speech, Bilawal said that he was in Karachi to celebrate the birthday of his mother with the people.

“Today, I am celebrating my mother’s birthday with the people of Karachi,” Bilawal said. “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was born in Karachi, and the people of Lyari were her beloved ones.”

Bilawal reminisced about the difficult and joyous days his mother spent in Karachi, mentioning that Benazir’s marriage also took place in Lyari. “My birth was also in Karachi. My connection with Karachi spans three generations,” he added.

The PPP chairman acknowledged the unwavering support the people of Lyari had extended to his mother, stating that “the people of Lyari never left Shaheed Bibi alone in her fight against dictators.”

Bilawal promised to work closely with the people of Karachi to develop the city. “It is with the cooperation of the people that we have formed the government in Sindh,” he said.

He highlighted that the city’s population is large but its resources are limited. “We are taking steps to provide water to Karachi,” he said.

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Traffic plan

The Karachi Traffic Police issued a special traffic plan for the rally venue and surrounding areas for the participants.

Parking arrangements have been made on Shahdee Village Road for all the attendees while the traffic police personnel are present to ensure the entire parking process.

Traffic heading towards Lea Market would be diverted to alternative routes and traffic coming from Marano Naka towards Lea Market would be diverted towards Chakiwara.

Moreover, traffic coming from the Football Park would be diverted towards Gharib Shah Road and Keamari Chowk. Traffic coming from Keamari Chowk would be diverted towards Napier Road.

Traffic coming from PSO Pump would be diverted towards Atta Chowk and traffic coming towards Atta Chowk would be diverted towards Shahdee Village Road and Lea Market.

Recovery vehicles, heavy lifters, and patrolling staff would be deployed around the rally venue.

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