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PPP to hold countrywide agitation against Zardari’s arrest

ISLAMABAD, June 10 (WNP): Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s central executive committee (CEC) Monday decided to call countrywide protests following the arrest of co-chairman and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari during a late night meeting.

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in a press conference following the meeting said he would “make the government an offer”.

“Bring a people-friendly budget. I will support it. We have always taken democratic steps for the people,” he said.

“But you will bring a people enemy budget,” he continued. “You are threatening my workers, my family, you arrested my father. If you bring such a budget, I will show you what a protest is,” he said.

Bilawal also promised that his party would bring judicial reforms and raise issues of human rights at every forum. “We are ready to take any step,” he added.

The PPP has decided to set up a contact committee and run a mass contact campaign, for which a schedule and process will be determined after consensus formation and engagement with leaders, Bilawal told reporters.

He advised his party’s provincial chapters’ presidents to form their strategies because he would be paying them visits soon.

According to some close aides to Zardari House, it had been decided in the CEC meeting that opposition parties would participate in a multi-party conference, and that they would proceed as a joint opposition.

The sources said the party would protest the government’s “revenge tactics”, the budget, and the rising cost of living.

According to the party’s media cell, a protest has been called by Tuesday at Karachi’s Hassan Square to protest against Zardari’s arrest.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah appealed to the party workers and supporters to maintain calm during their protest. “Threats and damage to private or public property are unacceptable,” he said.

Additionally, he said, displaying weapons or using sticks to harass people will not be tolerated. “We will take action against this sort of behaviour.”

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