Aseefa Bhutto kicks off political career at PDM’s Multan power show
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former president Asif Zardari’s younger daughter, Asifa Bhutto-Zardari marked her nascent rise in politics in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Multan on Monday, where she excoriated the “selected” government and said “it will have to go”.
Having braved arrests, cases and barricades, the PDM opted for an alternate venue at Ghanta Ghar Chowk, which is situated around 1km away from the original Qila Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium venue, after the authorities dislodged opposition workers from there a night earlier.
Multan defeated selected today. PTI had challenged PDM that we could not hold our Jalsa. Turns out their jails couldn’t hold our workers, their force couldn’t stop the people; the streets of Multan today were a referendum for democracy and against puppet raj. Next stop Lahore IA pic.twitter.com/13YPnZvFsZ— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) November 30, 2020
“Despite the cruelty and oppression of the selected [government], so many of you have gathered here. This selected [government] will have to go!” she said, as she joined Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and movement president Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other bigwigs of the 11-party anti-government alliance.
Asifa kept her speech short and brisk. In it, she vowed to stand by her brother, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who was convalescing due to the coronavirus, “every step of the way”.
She said those who think the Opposition will be cowed into submission are mistaken.
Asifa said that the people had announced their decision and that they wanted PM Imran Khan to “pack up and leave”.
“[Former] president Asif Zardari introduced the 18th Amendment and BISP [Benazir Income Support Programme] and fought for the people’s rights,” Asifa said.
Speaking about her mother, she said Benazir Bhutto had carried on her father’s mission — to establish a welfare state — and faced several setbacks.
She promised PPP workers that she would continue their mission and would not back down. The gathering coinded with the party’s 53rd Foundation Day.
“They think that we are afraid of arrests. If they arrest our brothers, then they should know that every woman of PPP is ready to take up the struggle,” she said.