ICMD, Aug 30, 2021:

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." -- Dawn