In these difficult times, Prime Minister Imran Khan should voluntarily resign and appoint someone else in his stead, said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday, as tensions between the centre and Sindh government continue to rise as COVID-19 cases continue to spike across the country.
The PPP chairman, in his interview with Sindhi language news channels, slammed the prime minister, blaming him for a lack of consensus in the country on how to tackle the COVID-19 situation.
“We [PPP] have been demanding the prime minister to step down since day one,” said Bilawal. “Keeping in mind the coronavirus situation, I am not asking for his resignation. But Imran Khan should start working as a prime minister. He should play his role in uniting provinces in this crisis.”
He urged PM Imran to voluntarily resign under these difficult circumstances and appoint someone else in his stead. The PPP chairman said that a national consensus was necessary to win the fight against the coronavirus. “The whole state should be on the same page against the coronavirus,” he said, adding that the prime minister was responsible for the absence of it. “The federal government is responsible for ensuring a consensus is reached.”
Bilawal praised Sindh government for providing relief to the masses as cases in the province continue to surge. “Sindh government is taking brilliant steps to provide relief to people,” he said. “CM Sindh has also joined hands with welfare organisations. People are being provided relief today due to the initiatives taken by the PPP,” he added.
He said that Sindh government was about to kick off “phase two” of its plan to ward off the coronavirus. “We are providing relief to the people despite facing a shortage of resources,” he said.
Referring to criticism over his statement on Karachi and Sindh a few days ago, Bilawal said that some people were presenting his remarks in a negative light and taking them out of context. “I consider it an insult to answer these [accusations],” he said, adding that those who were criticising him were working on their agenda to break up Sindh.
PPP lambastes federal government over non-availability of PPE for doctors
The remarks came a few days after the PPP chairman hit out at the federal government in a fiery presser, slamming it for neglecting doctors and medical officers throughout the country.
“Can you imagine Pakistan declaring war and sending its army without guns, bullets, and a uniform?” he had said.
The PPP chairman had lamented that the doctors were only demanding two things — protective gear and a reduced burden on hospitals so that they may carry out their jobs more effectively.
“The prime minister has failed to deliver […] He mentioned daily wagers in all of his addresses, but sadly none of them has received a single dime yet,” he had regretted.
It is our responsibility to provide for them like we would provide for our armed forces, he said, adding: “We are trying to provide for our doctors who are in contact with COVID-19 patients, I know that all provincial governments are playing their due role as well.”
“But the Centre should also play its role in supporting the provinces in the war against coronavirus,” he had said.
PTI leaders hit out at Bilawal
Following his press conference, tensions rose between the federal government and the Sindh government as PTI leaders Ali Zaidi and Dr Shahbaz Gill attacked the PPP chairman for his diatribe against the centre.
“I had a good laugh watching his ‘show’ on TV,” Zaidi had said. “I can’t understand why people take him seriously. If he makes silly statements, he will be called stupid,” he added.
“Where is this money going,” he asked. “I don’t know who advises this man. This man is a joke on national TV. He doesn’t know anything at all and his party is in power in Sindh for the past 12 years,” he added.
Former Punjab information minister Dr Shahbaz Gill lashed out at Bilawal too, saying that the PPP chairman’s press conference was an admission of his failure to manage the coronavirus situation.
“You and your chief minister are responsible for people from Lyari to Landhi, not the federal government,” Gill had written on Twitter.