ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has warned the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of consequences if the “non-serious party” refuses to tender an apology over May 9 riots. “No one should be permitted to commit terrorism,” Bilawal said while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly on Wednesday, adding: “The opposition leadership committed terrorism on May 9 by disrespecting the monuments of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country.” It is noteworthy to mention here that the incarcerated PTI founder Khan, in an informal conversation with journalists in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on May 8 — a day before the first anniversary of the violent protests, turned down the military’s demand to apologise for the May 9 riots. He also distanced his party from the violent protests that broke out in the country last year soon after his arrest. Amid the opposition’s lawmakers sloganeering, the former foreign minister took a dig at the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) lawmakers.  The politico urged the opposition party to avoid practising “double standards” in politics. He described the opposition members of the Imran Khan-founded party as “non-political and non-serious”, lacking interest in the country’s politics. He claimed that their leader was “crying” in jail for release. Bilawal Bhutto said that PPP has been struggling to strengthen democratic institutions for three generations and this struggle for Pakistan would continue. “They [PTI] want resolution of their personal issues. I want to condemn their non-serious attitude as on one side, they are claiming to struggle for the supremacy of the Pakistani Constitution, and on the other side, they are insisting on holding dialogues only with establishment,” criticised Bilawal. He said that the PTI-SIC leadership has no interest in democracy, nor the Constitution and the law., except for redressal of their personal grievances. Amid opposition’s lawmakers’ “Go Zardari Go slogans,” the PPP chief continued his speech after putting on headphones while several PPP lawmakers gathered around him SIC MNAs’ protest. He criticised the opposition’s behaviour, expressing dismay over their protests during the speech, which he believed sent the wrong message to the public and those witnessing the session. He commended President Asif Ali Zardari for focusing on national issues in the speech, avoiding personal or political matters. He emphasised that as the representative of the federation, the president prioritised public concerns, emphasising unity, reconciliation, and collective progress. He remarked that President Zardari recognised that the solution to Pakistan’s problems lies in dialogue among political forces.



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