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  • PTI will not resign from Punjab, KP assembly: Bilawal Bhutto

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    PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari File photo PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari

    In an apparent jibe at PTI Chairman Imran Khan, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said Wednesday institution's apolitical stance has got "puppet" politicians worrying about their future.

    "The institution has accepted its mistake. But now, they ['puppet politicians'] are worried that if the institution has become neutral, then what will become of their politics," Bilawal told a charged crowd in Karachi during his address at a ceremony held to mark PPP's 55th foundation day.

    The PPP chairman's comments came after former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa's interview, where he said that the army’s decision to become “apolitical” will help enhance its prestige in the long term.

    Bilawal, who also holds the portfolio of foreign minister, vowed to thwart anti-democratic forces and the party will continue fighting against the "enemies" of democracy.

    The PPP chairman said "chaos" was being spread in the country to save "watch thief" Khan, his sister Aleema Khan, Farah Gogi — a close aide PTI chief's wife Bushra Bibi — from accountability.

    Bilawal said when the PTI was "faizyab", the party defeated PPP in its stronghold of Lyari and "stole" the mandate of the people.

    Bilawal said Wednesday that "coward" PTI Chairman Khan's party lawmakers would not quit the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab assemblies.

    "If you want to resign, then go ahead. The PPP is ready to face you; PPP is not afraid of 'puppets' and 'selected actors'," Bilawal said.

    Bilawal claimed that Khan was "lying" when he said that his party's lawmakers would resign from both assemblies as he is notorious for going back on his word.

    "Don't you remember", he told the crowd, "that after PTI resigned from the National Assembly and the by-polls were set to take place, they moved the courts and plead that their resignations were just a political stunt".

    The PTI chief — who called off his long march to Islamabad last week — announced quitting assemblies across the country as he could not be part of a "corrupt system" anymore.

    Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has also backed Khan's call to quit the assembly and said that if the PTI chief asks him to dissolve the house, he would do so without waiting for a minute.

    However, the PML-N — along with the coalition parties — is mulling thwarting the move and the party's senior leaders have stressed that they would go to "any length" to keep it from dissolving.

    Taking a jibe at Khan for cutting his long march short, Bilawal said: "He fled from Pindi. The coward beat a hasty retreat just like he did at the time of no-confidence motion."

    Bilawal told Khan that if he decides to resign from the assemblies, then the PPP and its "jiyalas" were ready to face his party. "We're not afraid of you," he vowed.

    'Jiyala' to be next mayor Karachi

    At the outset of his address, Bilawal thanked the people of Karachi for coming out in huge numbers as the party had decided to hold the founding day at different districts instead of a central one due to floods.

    Bilawal paid glaring tributes to his mother, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and his maternal grandfather, ex-premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, for their services to the country.

    He added that a "jiyala" would be elected Karachi's mayor when the local body elections — scheduled to be held in January 2023 — take place.

    "A jiyala sitting here in this crowd will become the next mayor," he said, stressing that the PPP does not promote politics of hatred and anarchy.