- Says military establishment and political stakeholders need to work together in future
Former President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari “could” be his party’s candidate for the premiership, Aaj News reported.
Zardari made these remarks in ‘Faisla Aap Ka with Asma Shirazi’ on Aaj News.
During the interview, Zardari shared an ambitious plan to bring water to Balochistan from Tajikistan. When asked if he would be in power to implement it, he said there could be others in power with the same vision.
He went on to say that at the very least; PPP could be able to get its own prime minister in office.
When the programme host asked if Bilawal would be a candidate for the PM slot, Zardari said: “Time would tell.” He added that Bilawal “could” be a candidate.
Former president said the military establishment and political stakeholders needed to work together in future, adding that the democratic fight and the process of “recycling” must go on.
“Establishment, God forgive them, for they know not,” Zardari said. He added that going forward; he intended to educate the establishment as well.
Zardari said the democracy had a lot of strength and what was needed was “to control it, understand it and use it.”
‘Afghans registered as PTI voters’
When asked about former PTI chairman Imran Khan’s statement regarding the repatriation of Afghan refugees, Zardari claimed that Imran talked about Afghans because he had issued them identity cards in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and had their votes registered.
“The voters had been part of the last elections as well,” he added.
When asked if he would approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over the issue, Zardari said he believed the ECP was already looking into the matter.
However, he did not say whether this meant that things in KP were suitable for elections adding that the matter of polls was a “larger” debate.
Without naming Imran Khan, Zardari added that the “ladla” had been launched by General (r) Hameed Gul but had gone back and forth as different projects were brought to power.
When asked why Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was identifying Nawaz as the “ladla”, Zardari denied that his son had named anyone. He went on to say that it was Imran Khan who was still the “favourite” of the powers that be.
He added that PTI’s candidates were only lawyers who were fighting Imran Khan’s cases. He also said that all of PTI’s leaders were from PPP’s nursery.
General Elections on Feb 8
When asked if the election would take place on February 8, Zardari replied that “they would happen.”
He added that elections would take place, “whether today, tomorrow or the day after.”
Asked if the date could be moved around, Zardari said everything regarding elections was in the power of the ECP.
He said that elections happened differently in areas formerly called FATA and PATA. He added that the weather would not be good there at the time of elections and the area was also facing war.
Zardari said that getting justice in democracy was a matter of “patience”. He added that Benazir Bhutto had said that she had avenged her father when she took an oath of office for the first time.
He added that God had graced him with the opportunity of filing the reference on Bhutto’s murder and the matter had been picked up by the fourth chief justice.
Asked if there would be accountability based on the reference, Zardari said that most people involved in the incident had passed away but symbolic justice could be done.
He praised the chief justice for taking up the matter saying it was indicative of the judge’s democratic approach.