KARACHI: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday said Prime Minister Imran Khan was a “threat” to democracy, economy and the nation, as he slammed the PTI’s foreign policy on Kashmir.

Addressing a press conference here flanked by the PPP leaders, he said, “Imran Khan is the first and the last prime minister who failed to unite the nation on the Kashmir cause.”

Every government in the past — dictatorship, democratic, selected, or elected — was able to unite the people on the cause of Kashmir, he said, adding: “I am surprised that despite all these problems, the prime minister on the floor of the house said the PTI’s foreign policy has been the most successful,” reports Geo News.

“I am the only politician from opposition and treasury benches to oppose Modi. Unlike the appeasement policy that either of the ruling parties has had with Modi, the PPP has always maintained its stance and has opposed him from day one and will do so in the future,” Bilawal said.

“But this incompetent prime minister has failed to form national unity on Kashmir cause, he is the prime minister who ran Modi’s election campaign claiming that if Modi wins, the Kashmir issue would be resolved,” he said.

“The government’s appeasement policy with Modi must come to an end,” Bilawal said, adding that the PTI-led government’s foreign policy has damaged Pakistan. PPP has always been at the forefront of the Kashmir issue. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto hadfought the case of Kashmir and today Pakistanis and Kashmiris remember his speeches in the United Nations.”

He urged the government to give relief to the frontline workers, laourers, farmers, and those affected by the coronavirus. Bilawal claimed that the Sindh government, despite all the hurdles and adversities, presented a people-friendly budget.

“Due to the federal government’s incompetency, we are facing a shortfall of Rs229 billion during a global pandemic, Punjab is receiving Rs470-80 billion less, and other provinces are facing the same treatment at a time when the Centre should have supported the provinces,” he said.

“For the first time since the creation of Pakistan, the country has seen negative growth,” he lamented. Highlighting the Sindh government’s budget and what was in it for the people, he said that the province would provide loans to the businesses affected by the pandemic. To support the agriculture sector, Sindh will give subsidy in seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to the small farmers whose land is smaller than 25 acres in a bid to enhance their yield, he said. In the areas where water is scarce, the agricultural department is providing subsidy in drip irrigation and tube wells, he said. In urban centres, loans have been arranged for businesses, while the province is aiming to provide a package to the families whose bread earners have succumbed to coronavirus.

For the women farmers, the Sindh government is providing community-based loans and soft loans. He said almost every government department was corrupt, while magic was also at play in the province.

Reacting to the criticism Sindh has been facing for its response towards coronavirus, Bilawal said that the province had the highest testing capacity per capita, free of cost treatment for patients, and free tests for the virus were being conducted in the province.

“Our Intensive Care Units (ICU) and High Dependency Units (HDU) are more than any province. The [Centre] celebrated 100 days of battling coronavirus in the National Command and Control Centre, while Sindh inaugurated a 50-bedded hospital,” he said.

The PPP chairperson said that the PTI-led government’s in the Centre and the provinces were decreasing the number of tests, intentionally. “They are pushing Pakistanis towards danger.”

“Sindh is committed and we will increase our testing even if others decrease it. By lowering the testing capacity they are putting our frontline workers in danger as the nurses and paramedics won’t know who is infected and who isn’t,” he said.

“If you stop testing, then the graph will go down. But the same number of people will fall ill and die,” Bilawal said. “If you are conducting fewer tests then it means that the contact tracing is also not being conducted and the doctors and nurses are also not being tested,” he said, adding: “This incompetent government is compromising on a fundamental concept that the whole world has been telling us — testing.”

Bilawal demanded that a risk allowance similar to that of Sindh be provided to frontline workers across the country. “PTI has left Pakistanis orphaned on all platforms, including economy, foreign policy, and now on public health.”

“We have to tackle a global pandemic, a dangerous attack of locusts after 70 years, global economic recession — which has been further worsened due to selected — and with all this, we have to face political engineering. We are ready to fight these battles on every forum,” he said.

Sindh has increased tax revenues every year and even during this pandemic when the Centre was complaining that its tax collection had fallen due to the pandemic. The province has increased 8% of its total tax collection during COVID-19, Bilawal said.

He urged the media to do unbiased reporting on PTI’s corruption narrative, as the incumbent government was the most corrupt. “You can’t spell corruption without the words PTI.” He highlighted that the Transparency International had termed Imran Khan’s government the “most corrupt” in Pakistan’s history.

“Their own auditor general’s report mentions there that there have been irregularities worth Rs270 billion […] Musharraf’s first amnesty scheme was for Imran Khan,” he said.

Azeem Samar adds: Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that the federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has deliberately reduced the coronavirus testing in the country and, according to him, by doing so the government has endangered the lives and health of people of the country. The PPP chairman stated this on Monday while addressing a press conference here at the Sindh Assembly building flanked by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Education Minister Saeed Ghani, and CM’s Law Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab.

Bilawal said on the occasion that if the people infected with coronavirus infection were not detected in the country, then not only the lives of ailing persons would be threatened but at the same time the government will threaten the safety of healthy persons in their surroundings.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and other federal ministers made a mockery of themselves when they put forth the claim that the graph of the people suffering from coronavirus in the country was coming down. “The graph will automatically come down when you decrease the testing,” he said.

He said the incompetent government had been ignoring the advice of the rest of the world to increase the coronavirus testing. He said that the government was endangering the lives of masses, doctors, and paramedical staff in the country.

He said that the Sindh government of PPP had emerged as an example for other governments by having the largest per capita coronavirus testing capacity in the country. The PPP chairman said that per capita availability of Intensive Care Unit and High Density Unit beds in hospitals of Sindh to treat the patients of coronavirus had been more than any other part of the country.

He said that the federal and other provincial governments should grant a special risk allowance for doctors and paramedical staff for being the frontline workers against coronavirus as was done by the Sindh government. He challenged the PM to increase the per capita testing of any other part of the country to meet the coronavirus testing capacity of Sindh. He said that PM Imran Khan had emerged as a threat to the democratic dispensation in the country.

Meanwhile, reacting strongly to the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s news conference, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Monday regretted that he had used a derogatory language, which did not suit him.

In his reaction, the minister said he had talked about the prime minister and his sister, which did not suit him while the prime minister’s sister had nothing to do with politics.

“This kind of talk about a lady is a very despicable act. Bilawal is the last person to accuse Imran Khan of corruption. No one called Imran Khan Sahib Mr. 10 percent and no one ever talked about his sister,” he said.

The minister said, “We strongly condemn Bilawal Bhutto’s allegations. Bilawal Bhutto should not say such things; he was either asleep or he is ignorant of the ground realities. Even Bilawal Bhutto’s aides did not explain to him”.

“Bilawal Bhutto has made a joke of himself by saying such things. He has confined one big party of the past to Larkana. Bilawal Bhutto is politically frustrated. He has no political agenda so he is talking like this,“ Shibli Faraz alleged.

The minister said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari should have thought 10 times before accusing Imran Khan of corruption. Instead of talking nonsense, ‘answer the questions raised about yourself and your family’.

Meanwhile, in a tweet, Shibli said the stock market performance was reflecting the business confidence in the country. He said record $23 billion foreign remittances were the positive signals for economy.