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Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari calls for dialogue among politicians to steer Pakistan out of crisis

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Lahore, May 13 (PTI) Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has called for dialogue among the political forces to resolve issues such as inflation, unemployment, poverty, and terrorism that the cash-strapped country is facing, according to a media report on Monday.

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Addressing a seminar titled “Bhutto Reference and History” here, the former foreign minister said, “The people are troubled by price hikes, unemployment, and poverty. In addition to these, terrorism is also an issue for the country and the people.” “If politicians do not talk to each other, how these issues could be resolved,” the 35-year-old leader asked.

The PPP chairman, who is the son of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, said his father President Asif Ali Zardari gave a message of reconciliation in his address to a joint Parliament session last month.

However, he said it was unfortunate that the people who do not want reconciliation raised a hue and cry, Geo News reported.

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Bilawal said his party’s training was conducted by the former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

“Our character should match their training and we should represent those great leaders,” Bilawal said.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal’s grandfather, served as Pakistan’s President from 1971 to 1973 and then as Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. He founded the PPP and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.

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The former foreign minister expressed his displeasure over the prevailing political culture in the country.

“At the moment we have politics of hatred in our society. Politics has been changed to personal enmity. We in our society do not respect the difference of opinion,” Bilawal was quoted as saying.

The PPP chairman said despite all this, the PPP always believes in political negotiations and reconciliation.

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“The 1973 constitution was the result of consensus. The 18th Amendment in the Constitution was done with consensus at the time of Asif Ali Zardari as President. We did all this by taking all political forces in the parliament on board,” he said.

Talking about the Supreme Court verdict in the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case, the PPP chairman said that the judicial verdict in the Bhutto reference was the result of a long and hard struggle of the party workers and a similar 30-year-long struggle of his mother.

“This reference was sent to the Supreme Court by President Asif Ali Zardari to get justice for Quaid-e-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” Bilawal said.

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The PPP chairman said that the apex court heard the case and came to the conclusion that justice was not done to Bhutto and the trial against him was not justified.

“We consider this decision as historic and now when the court itself has admitted that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s punishment was wrong, we should carry out judicial reforms. The judiciary can also bring its own reforms but this is primarily the function of parliament,” he said.

Meanwhile, reports said that Bilawal is likely to make a comeback for another stint as Pakistan’s foreign minister as the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) were close to finalising a power-sharing deal, the Express Tribune newspaper recently reported. PTI GSP AKJ GSP

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