On Monday, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Foreign Minister, addressed reports of tensions between his party and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), stating that there are no “political differences” between the ruling parties. Speaking to the media after the oath-taking ceremony of Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab and Deputy Mayor Salman Abdullah, Bilawal stated that the PPP committee would meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif again and emphasized that while there might be differences in policy, there are no political disagreements with the PMLN. He expressed hope for future progress based on the principles outlined in the Charter of Democracy.
Bilawal’s comments come in response to recent disagreements between the PPP and PMLN regarding administrative matters in Punjab province and the federal budget. PPP members have expressed concerns to Bilawal, citing a lack of attention from the government towards their requests.
The PPP chairman acknowledged a positive working relationship with PMLN leaders but emphasized the party’s right to hold different opinions, which they will continue to express in relevant forums. Bilawal expressed his belief that he does not foresee any political differences with the PMLN in the future.
Regarding his party’s concerns, Bilawal mentioned the need for a non-controversial census, as the PPP had issues with the previous census and anticipates potential controversies in the future. He also discussed the allocation of funds for flood victim rehabilitation in Sindh, expressing hope for a resolution to reservations and urging the federal government to contribute to the relief efforts.
Bilawal stated that the PPP’s manifesto would be presented to the entire nation, mentioning that PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari would soon return and visit Lahore. He emphasized the responsibility of elected representatives, regardless of their party affiliation, to work together for the welfare of the public. He suggested that Jamaat-e-Islami should collaborate for the betterment of Karachi and dismissed allegations of rigging by emphasizing their commitment to the city’s progress.
Bilawal highlighted his personal responsibility for addressing the issues of Karachi and expressed satisfaction with the historical victory of having a mayor and deputy mayor from the PPP in the city. He reassured critics of their performance and pledged to respond through their work. He reflected on past instances where the PPP failed to elect a mayor in Karachi due to rigging, but highlighted the present era, where the party is achieving victories nationwide, including in Kashmir, as the era of dictators and selectors comes to an end.
The foreign minister acknowledged that the city’s issues are linked to the federal government but assured support from the provincial government for the mayor of Karachi. He expressed confidence that under the leadership of Murtaza Wahab, Karachi would witness the best local government setup. Bilawal noted that their slogan in the local government elections, “Our Karachi,” helped bury divisive politics and hatred in the city. He concluded by stating that the party would present its manifesto to the public in the upcoming general elections.
Regarding the K-IV water project, Bilawal emphasized that the PPP has long been raising its voice on the water scarcity issue in Karachi. He acknowledged delays in the project during different governments’ tenures and mentioned that a significant allocation has been made for the K-IV project in the current budget.
At the oath-taking ceremony, Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Salman Abdullah Murad were sworn in as the mayor and deputy mayor of Karachi, respectively, in the presence of Bilawal, Sindh Governor Kamran Khan Tessori, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, and provincial ministers.
Bilawal had previously announced that his party would abstain from endorsing the recently announced budget in the National Assembly unless the commitments made to the party