- In lower house address, Bilawal laments state of politics.
- Says the youth should not be robbed of their hope.
- Adds youth “sick of the old politics” and have lost trust.
In a rare statement on the floor of the National Assembly, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari appealed to his “elders” to make decisions that would make politics easier for him and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz in the future and not similar to the one they faced 30 years ago.
Bilawal made the appeal in what looked like his final address to the National Assembly as the lower house of parliament is set to complete its term this month. The lower house’s tenure will complete on August 12 but the government has hinted at moving a summary for the dissolution of the NA on August 9.
The PPP chief, who is also the foreign minister, deplored the state of politics in the country. While talking about the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Bilawal said that he has been witnessing politicians go to jail or be in government since his childhood.
If elections, he said, are held today or tomorrow whichever government comes the politics of rigging and sit-ins will continue.
“How much time did we get in 15 months to address the peoples’ problems? Sometimes Islamabad was burning, sometimes Zaman Park was a battleground and sometimes incidents like May 9 happened,” Bilawal added.
He further said that it was the “responsibility” of the opposition to “fix its attitude” and also the one’s sitting on the treasury benches to act like politicians. He added that both sides of the aisle should work on making politics and democracy stronger.
“I made a statement last week where I appealed to [former] president Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif to make such decisions that would make politics easier for Maryam and me in the future. And the way we are going, it seems our elders have made the decision that the politics they faced 30 years ago they want us to do the same politics,” Bilawal said.
The foreign minister told his fellow parliamentarians that the youth which comprises 65% of the country’s population is “sick of the old politics”.
“Seeing this [kind of] politics, they [youth] no longer trust us or anyone else,” he added. Bilawal urged not just his own party — the PPP — but others as well to do politics in such a way that 65% of the population’s “hope remains alive”.
“We should not rob them of their hope because they will lead this country one day. And they should know that when they come after getting elected to this house, be it in opposition or government, we will try to resolve the problems of the people,” he went on to say.
“I feel that in the last five years, we have learnt a lot and we will meet in elections,” the foreign minister concluded.
Earlier in his speech Bilawal mentioned the achievements they did during the five years they spent in the National Assembly. He added that he was proud that they did not resort to the politics of abuse and kept their point of view in a respectable manner.
“We all had the same intention, to rectify the mistakes that were made before us,” said Bilawal. He added that everyone had the same idea of strengthening civilian institutions and restoring the dignity of the parliament.
“Everyone wanted to strengthen democracy. History will decide whether we were successful in this endeavour or not,” he said. He also lamented that during his time in government, they got an opposition that did not respect parliament and democracy.