Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari

Bilawal wants PTI supporters to vote for PPP in ‘lion-arrow’ election battle


“Once and for all, let’s bury revenge politics,” PPP chief Bilawal tells PTI supporters ahead of Feb 8 polls

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari Sunday called on the supporters of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to vote for his party as the February 8 elections would see a battle between two parties — “the lion and the arrow”.

While the PTI has lost its electoral ‘bat’ symbol, the PPP has retained its ‘arrow’ symbol, and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has also secured its decades-old ‘lion’ electoral sign.

“I am speaking to the PTI supporters: We kept on telling Khan sahib to do politics; abusing rivals and putting them and their sisters in jail is not politics,” Bilawal said while addressing a party power show in Lahore.

Bilawal said he understands the pain that PTI workers are going through and blamed Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N for the former ruling party’s setbacks. “I respect political workers […] I’ve been through this and I do not want anyone to go through such testing times.”

Hundreds of PTI workers — allegedly involved in attacking military installations — have been arrested since May 9, 2023, the day when former prime minister Imran Khan was arrested, which triggered country-wide protests.

“I appeal to you [PTI supporters], in the battle between ‘lion and arrow’, support me. I will bury revenge politics,” Bilawal vowed, reminding people that when his party’s prime ministers took office, they released “political prisoners”.

Bilawal stressed the need to end the old ways of politics and bring all forces together, which would in return help to steer the country out of politics.

He also promised to outperform “Showbaz” and “Wasim Akram plus” — the terms used by PTI founder Imran Khan to mock Shehbaz Sharif and to praise Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar — after being elected in the February 8 general elections.

“Is it Lahore’s fate to elect the same faces again and again? I am here to win your hearts, fight for you and struggle for you. We cannot hand over Pakistan to these old politicians,” Bilawal said.

The former foreign minister said that Lahore had elected the late Benazir Bhutto as prime minister. “Punjab has also suffered the consequences of PPP’s removal through a conspiracy. I will continue my struggle until getting victorious,” he added.

The politico said that PPP has come up with a concrete 10-point economic plan to provide relief to the masses. He reiterated to abolish 17 ministries to cut Rs300 billion expenditures which would be spent on the nationals besides ending Rs1,500 annual subsidies to the elites if PPP voted to power.

He urged PPP workers to continue to sway voters with the party’s manifesto two weeks ahead of the nationwide polls.

The Bilawal-led party has made big promises in its manifesto, including the construction of low-cost 3 million houses, 300 units of free electricity to families through solar energy projects, kisan cards, Benazir Mazdoor Card to ensure social security of labourers, youth cards for their financial assistance and expanding the Benazir Income Support Programme’s scope and launching poverty alleviation programs.

The PPP had unveiled a schedule for Bilawal’s 30 election rallies in various cities across the country.

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