He said that it would be better if ECP carries out electoral reforms

KARACHI (Dunya News) – Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday expressed readiness to sit with the government for electoral reforms but said no one takes government seriously.

Addressing a press conference flanked by other party leaders in Karachi on Monday, he said that it would be better if Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) carries out electoral reforms.

Bilawal said that his party has been working on election reforms and he did not want the rigging that took place in 2018 and earlier to happen again. “We need to make reforms in this regard, for which we are ready, but the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) can play a very important role in this regard,” he added.

PPP Chairman said that no one takes the PTI regime’s position seriously and sitting with the swindlers to stop the rigging seems strange. The most important and fundamental point to prevent election rigging was the role of the Establishment in the elections and if this role persists then no matter how much legislation is enacted, the elections will remain controversial. “Everyone saw that the Establishment had no active role in the NA-249 elections, so we want them to not only legislate but also create a consensus that the Establishment has no role in politics and elections,” he said.

Regarding NA 249 by-elections, the PPP Chairman asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to present solid proof if they had any. “Asking the military to take polling boxes is irresponsible and unacceptable,” Bilawal said.

Responding to another question, the PPP Chairman said that if the PML-N had evidence of any rigging, it should approach the ECP and not to appeal to the army. “If the PML-N appeals to the army to intervene after losing a seat, it would be detrimental to the electoral process,” he added.

He pointed out that during the 2018 elections, the troops deployed inside and outside every polling station and the largest army deployment in any elections in the history, but those elections proved to be controversial. “We believe that this makes not only elections, but also institutions unnecessarily controversial and consider PML-N statement irresponsible,” he added.

Replying to yet another question, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the PPP had proved to the opposition parties that the no-confidence motion could work. It is the responsibility of the opposition parties to oppose the government instead of opposing PPP.

To another question, he said that if Imran Khan was talking about dissolving the assemblies, and the PML-N was talking about resignations, it meant that the two parties were on the same page. The vote will not be respected, if the parliament is not respected. Despite holding majority in Punjab, Bozdar is not being challenged because, PML-N thinks Bozdar can do as much damage to Punjab and its people, which is in the advantage of PML-N. “We have shown the way that the Federal government can also be taken after Punjab through the no-confidence motion through the results of the Senate election from Islamabad,” he added.

Benazir Mazdoor Card

Bilawal described the Benazir Mazdoor Card as a revolutionary step by the Sindh government and said that 3 million workers of Sindh would benefit from this scheme in the near future.

The PPP Chairman said that the Benazir Mazdoor Card Scheme would be first for the 600,000 workers who are currently working in industrial enterprises, but our effort would be that this card should be given to every worker in the Sindh province.

He further said that whether the workers are associated with the construction sector or work in houses, following electronic registration they will be given Benazir Mazdoor Card, enabling them to avail the same facilities available to limited to industrial workers.

Bilawal said that this card will ensure the provision of health and medical facilities to the workers, this card will be usable even during maternity and in case of accidental death relief money will be provided besides other facilities. He urged the labourers and workers who are not yet registered in the industries to register themselves so that they can avail the benefits of the scheme.

The PPP Chairman said that his party’s ideology and manifesto was that if the workers were prosperous then the industry and economy would also prosper. We want Benazir Mazdoor Card accessible to every toiling worker so that we can move towards social security thinking, which is an important part of the PPP’s manifesto.

He demanded that the Workers Welfare Board and EOBI be handed over to the provinces adding that these institutions should have been devolved to the provinces by 2015 under the 18th Amendment, but this has not happened yet. “These institutions should be handed over to the provinces so that the provinces can do more for their workers,” he emphasized.