PDM’s Karachi rally may have been more effective if women were allowed to participate, says Bilawal Bhutto

Statesman Report

SUKKUR: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday took a jibe at the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) rally in Karachi a day earlier, saying “maybe the rally would have been more effective if they (PDM) gave women permission to participate.”

Addressing a press conference in Sukkur, he said he could not comment on whether the PDM rally — the alliance’s first power show after a months-long lull — was “successful”, adding that the PPP believed all democratic parties should play their role.

However, it would have been “more effective” if the PDM allowed women to participate in the rally, he said.

“This is not Afghanistan. This is Karachi, capital of Sindh,” he remarked.

He questioned how a country and a city could be run when “even a home cannot be run without a woman”, recalling that Pakistan was the first Muslim country to appoint a female prime minister.

No society can progress until men and women are equal participants in economy and politics, the PPP chairperson said. “Maybe this was a reason that Karachi rejected them (PDM) and that [an] impression could not be built as in the past.”

However, there was “more time” and the PDM would hold more events, he said. “Our best wishes are with them — that the government is harmed from their movement instead of benefitted because till now, we think the government is benefitting from the PDM’s way of [doing] politics.”

He shared that he had asked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to talk to PDM president and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and inform them that “we are present if they need anything.”

‘PPP showed  way to whole country to get

rid of PM’

Bilawal said the PPP had “showed a way to the whole country to get rid of Prime Minister Imran Khan” when it managed to make former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani win in the Senate polls in March instead of PTI’s Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

He said that if the other opposition parties agreed to “first attack Punjab and then go the national level, then this government will go home”.