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ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Wednesday ruled out any backdoor negotiations of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with the government.

Talking to reporters after appearing before the Accountability Court-III in Toshakhana case, Gilani denied any back channel negotiations of the PPP with the government.

When he was asked that there are reports that the PPP was conducting backdoor negotiations, he said that the PPP has no back channels, and talks will be held in the presence of the public.

He said that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has never asked former premier Nawaz Sharif to come back to the country as he was present in the central executive committee meeting of the PPP.

To a question about Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed’s statement that the government will cancel Nawaz Sharif’s passport on February 16th, he said that such kinds of statement had also been made in the past but Sharif will get his passport.

He said that when the doctor will advised former president Asif Ali Zardari then he will appear before the court.

About the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he said that the PDM stands by the people.

If the opposition did not raise public problems as well as not talk to the people then it will be tantamount to providing favour to the government, he said, adding that if the opposition did not stand with the public then a leaderless demonstration would be dangerous for the country.

He said that the PDM was standing with the public in order to provide them a direction.

Earlier, he appeared before the Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, in Toshakhana case involving former president Asif Ali Zardari, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and others.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed the Toshakhana reference against Zardari, and two former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, and others for allegedly acquiring vehicles and gifts from Toshakhana in violation of rules and regulations.

At the start of the hearing, Zardari and other accused’s counsel filed separate applications before the court, seeking one-day exemption for their clients from personal appearance which the court approved.

The NAB prosecutor, Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, appeared before the court.

The court completed recording of statements of prosecution witnesses, Amtiaz Ali Ghopan, and Naveed Malik.

The defence counsel will cross examine the witnesses during the next hearing to be held on January 13th.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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