PPP will contest elections after electoral reforms: Zardari

KARACHI: Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said Wednesday during a press conference, “We never said we are afraid of elections. We will contest elections after electoral reforms.”

Addressing a press conference in Karachi today, the former president said that they removed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government by democratic means only. He claimed that they do not fear new elections but have to address the issue of NAB and electoral reforms beforehand.

Asif Ali Zardari added that he spoke to Shehbaz Shareef before he left for London and they have a good understanding as of now. The person who could not perform in four years is demanding new elections, we will see what he achieves in the next elections, he added.

“The electoral and NAB reforms are part of our game plan. We will conduct elections as soon as electoral reforms are introduced,” he declared.

“What can he [Imran Khan] do if elections are conducted early? I have to burn the stoves in the house of the people,” he said, adding that the government wanted suggestions from the business community for economic stability.

“What is the performance of those who are urging early elections?” questioned former president Asif Ali Zardari.

He also commended the role of the army’s leadership in the current political environment in the country and said: “Should I salute General Bajwa for being apolitical or should I fight him? We know they can be apolitical, and we want them to be so.”

He also said that the Overseas Pakistanis knew very little about the domestic politics of Pakistan, and therefore, they were being misled. “We want reserved seats in the Parliament for the Overseas Pakistanis.”

The former president remarked, “We do not want to increase the fuel prices, for rise in the fuel prices push up inflation.”

He also condemned the smear campaign against the army, stating: “We surely used to call Musharraf a dictator, but we never launched a campaign against him. We have never campaigned against the judiciary.”

The former president also vowed to put up fight, stating: “In democracy, we win and lose.”

He also maintained that behind the martyrdom of Benazir Shaheed, there was a conspiracy to break Pakistan. “Had I not raised ‘Pakistan Khapay’ slogan after the martyrdom of Bibi Shaheed, the circumstances would have been different.”

“Who is he [Imran Khan] to give the titles of Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq to other people,” he deplored.

The PPP co-chairman pointed out that it would take some time for the new government to rectify the circumstances, adding: “The ex-cricketer does not want anyone in the government beside him.”

He claimed, “If anyone who can run Pakistan, that is we.”

The former president stated that elections would take place only after electoral reforms, adding that no posting had anything to do with it.

He also sarcastically remarked that President Arif Alvi was a dentist, adding: “What does he know about politics?”

He also stressed the need for separating the NAB from the bureaucracy. “Bureaucrats fear NAB before signing a file. We will assign duties to non-political officers in the NAB,” he added.

He also maintained that he never let the dollar go above Rs60. “The United States itself faces many challenges,” said the former president, adding: “Does the United States have got any time to conspire against Imran Khan?”

He also blamed Imran Khan for playing a political drama.

The former President said that the Sharif family has good relations with Saudi Arabia and that the PPP does not recommend increasing the fuel prices. The price of all daily usage commodities including chicken and eggs increases with the rise in fuel prices, he said.

Imran Khan used to say that he had not become the Prime Minister to keep a check on the rates of vegetables but Asif Zardari cares about these things, the PPP co-chairman said. The PPP cares about the common man’s needs, he added.

Asif Ali Zardari said the coalition government is endeavoring to put the shrinking economy of the country on the right path. He suggested installing solar panels for solving the energy crisis in the country.

He hoped that water shortage will soon be controlled and issues faced by tail-enders will also be resolved. TF REPORT

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