No one has asked govt for US military bases: Bilawal Says PM bringing it up ‘on his own’

Haveli (AJK)

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday claimed that the impression that Prime Minister Imran Khan had “taken a stand” against the United States by refusing to allow it to set up military bases in Pakistan was false because, in fact, no one had made a request for the bases to the government.

Addressing a public gathering in Haveli during his campaign for the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, Bilawal claimed that it was only the PPP that had taken a stance against Washington and closed bases during its tenure.

“You must have been hearing that the US will not be given bases and the prime minister has taken a stand.

“To tell you the truth, no one has even asked him, no one has made him a phone call, no one has asked him for a base, he is just saying it on his own,” the PPP leader alleged.

Bilawal in his speech said court of Islamabad that is former military dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf had provided bases to the US and it was the PPP that closed them. “If today they’re still closed then because of whom? Because of the PPP,” he added.

He recalled that after the Salala incident of 2011, the parliament at the time took a stand about closing US bases and shutting Nato supply lines until the US apologised for martyring Pakistani troops.

“And this strength is only in a national and democ-ratic parliament, this puppet govt does not have that strength to do such big things,” he said, referring to the PTI government.

Bilawal claimed that PPP was the only political party that could stare both India and the US in the eye and respond to them while continuing to work with China without compromising on the people’s rights or bending before anyone. “If you support us then no world power can block your path,” he told the rally audience.

Lashing out at the government in the Centre, he said it was “snatching roti, kapra aur makaan (bread, clothing and house)” from the people who were now looking towards the PPP to come into power by becoming the people’s voice.

The PPP leader also criticised Prime Minister Imran for his approach on the Kashmir issue and said he had failed to live up to the hopes of its people.

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