Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has distanced himself from a statement by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif accusing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa of “hijacking elections”.

The PPP chief alluded to remarks made by Nawaz during a rally in Gujranwala held by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) last month. During the speech, the former PM had called out Gen Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for alleged manipulation of election results.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, Bilawal said the statement “shocked” him because the use of such language during the public gathering was unprecedented. “But if Nawaz Sharif names these generals, he must have evidence to back these claims up,” said the PPP chief, adding that hopefully, the PML-N supreme leader would bring forward relevant evidence.


The PPP chief said the PDM was not in favour of naming generals, so a consensus was reached to use the term “establishment”. However, it is Nawaz Sharif’s right to call these people out if he wants to, added Bilawal.

He said the deployment of the military inside and outside the polling was wrong, so was the dam fund campaign of former chief justice Saqib Nisar in the lead-up to the polls. “So, due to the prevalence of such activities, we can not say Imran was brought to power by an individual.”

The PPP chief also shot down reports regarding his party’s lack of interest in the PDM. He said the PPP stood by the commitments made at the time of the formation of the joint opposition alliance.