Bilawal Bhutto asks Imran Niazi if he will expel himself for not casting vote


THATTA: Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that Imran Khan, who had abstained from casting vote in Senate election, has removed 20 MPAs of his party for not voting for the party candidates.

Instead, he should himself tender resignation from the party for having shown disrespect to the parliament by failing to cast vote for the upper house, he said.

Bilawal was speaking to journalists after addressing a gathering and launching mangroves plantation drive in Keti Bandar coastal town on Thursday afternoon.

He said that both Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan had sullied dignity of the parliament and defiled sanctity of vote. Mr Sharif attended only six parliament sessions despite remaining prime minister thrice and Imran Khan disrespected democracy by failing to cast vote, he said.

About Nadeem Afzal Chan’s joining the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Bilawal said: “Though he had been in our ranks for some time he had switched his loyalty much before. Those who are loyal to the ideology of the party are with us and will stand by us.”

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said at the gathering the government had made significant progress in the development of infrastructure all over the province. “There is still room for improvement though,” he said.

He said the government was determined to restore past glory of Thatta which had once remained capital of the province and a hub of trade, commerce and learning.

Earlier, PPP chairman accompanied by the chief minister, provincial ministers Nisar Khuhro, Nasir Shah and Ghulam Qadir Malkani arrived at Juho island off Keti Bandar by a hovercraft and planted saplings to launch mangroves plantation drive for setting a new world record.

The Sindh forest department, which had earlier set the Guinness World Record of planting most number of trees in 24 hours at Kharo Chaan in 2013 by planting 847,275 saplings is attempting to break its own record. The department planned to plant at least 1,000,000 (one million) saplings of mangrove for the new record.

Secretary of forest Sohail Akbar Shah informed the PPP chairman that since they would be attempting the record in estuarine intertidal mudflats, the availability of maximum time was critical.

“According to tidal data of Pakistan Navy, the most suitable date is April 19 when we can avail of maximum daylight ie around 12.5 hours. So, in real time we will be making the attempt from 6.30am to 7pm,” he said.

The chief minister said the purpose of the attempt was to highlight and showcase the importance of Indus delta mangroves, its biodiversity and most importantly the communities dependent on this precious but threatened ecosystem.

“Our experience of the world records in 2009 and 2013 has brought the coastal areas into limelight where socio-development activities are on the rise now,” he said, adding the present attempt was financed by the Sindh government with the logistic and material support provided by the Pakistan Navy.

“We expect support and active participation from media, civil society, local representatives and local community in this important national event,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2018

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