Surprising results expected in Senate elections after by-poll victories: Bilawal

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Sunday predicted "surprising results" in upcoming Senate elections following Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) recent victories in by-polls held across the country.

"PDM has challenged the government on every front… it defeated the government in by-polls as well. We will send this puppet government and prime minister packing," he said at a news conference flanked by PDM head Maulana Fazlur Rehman and former premier Yousaf Raza Gillani in Islamabad.

The joint presser took place following a meeting between the leadership of PPP and Jamiat Ulema-e-Isalm-Fazl.

Bilawal said the opposition alliance wanted to give a message to the masses that even the members of the government were not with the federal government in Senate elections. "We are very much hopeful that our candidates would give surprising results in the Senate polls," he added.

He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was also winning by polls in NA-75 Sialkot-IV constituency but the PTI government rigged the elections.

To a question about Muttahida Qaumi Movement skipping dinner organised by the PTI-led government, Bilawal revealed that they are holding dialogue with MQM and other government allies. "MQM was elected from Karachi. However, the federal government has rendered Karachi orphan," the PPP chief said.

Bilawal claimed that every party in K-P, whether a part of PDM or not, is on the same page against the PTI government. "We are united… all parties including PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, ANP and JI are united," he added.

The PPP chairman hoped that the Supreme Court would give its verdict on mode of voting in Senate polls "as per the law and constitution", adding that the alliance is however prepared for both scenarios — secret or open ballot.

He further said that Awami National Party (ANP) has played a critical role in the anti-government movement and supported the alliance in its every move. However, we may have deliberations as to what has happened in recently-held Nowshera by-elections, where ANP fielded its own candidate instead of rendering expected support to the now-victorious PDM candidate.

لائیو: پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کے چیئرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری اور جے یو آئی سربراہ مولانا فضل الرحمان کی اسلام آباد میں مشترکہ میڈیا ٹاک
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) February 28, 2021


Maulana Fazlur Rehman, speaking on the occasion, said that PDM was not just an electoral alliance but a movement, adding that all the parties were united to oust the ‘puppet government’. "It is good news that PDM is fighting elections with a united strategy in all four provinces," he maintained.

He said that there will be a meeting of PDM after the Senate polls to devise future strategy of the alliance. "Getting rid of such rulers would be a big service to the people of Pakistan," he maintained.

The JUI-F amir said that the government benches were disappointed and fear their loss in Senate elections. "There was some apprehension that the parties in PDM may lose their candidates to each other but now we are confident that no such thing will happen."

He lamented the killing of three of his party workers, saying that Pakistan was becoming a lawless country with incompetent rulers at the helm.

Answering another question, the Maulana said that whole PDM is on the same page when it comes to the matter relating to the movement. "It (PDM) is not a party… every party [within PDM] may have its own strategy. We have, however, tried to have candidates with mutual consensus [for Senate elections].

(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)