Imran not Siraj-ud-Daulah to be betrayed by any Mir Jaffar: Zardari


KARACHI: PPP leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said there was no comparison at all between former PM Imran Khan and the ruler of Bengal Nawab Sirajud-Daulah. “Then how come anybody could betray him (Imran Khan) like Mir Jaffar or Mir Sadiq,” he asked while addressing a press conference here.

“He is just a cricketer of the yesteryears, and he is nobody to distribute certificates of patriotism, and term his opponents Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq,” Zardari said about the PTI chairman. He said the new coalition government would have to take urgent measures to improve the national economy and save people from financial miseries after bringing the IMF programme back on track.

“The previous ruler used to say that he had not come to power for controlling the prices of potato and tomato, but I am here for controlling the prices of essential items as I have to take care that people are able to meet their kitchen expenses and keep the economy running,” said Zardari.

He said the issue to grantvoting rights to overseas Pakistanis could easily be resolved after holding a dialogue with all the political stakeholders and resolving the issue was not a big deal. The former president suggested that seats could be reserved for proper representation of overseas Pakistanis in the parliament like seats were reserved in the assemblies for religious minorities and women.

He said the political parties, in accordance with the votes secured by them in elections, would be allotted these seats on a proportionate basis for representation of overseas Pakistanis.

He recalled that the Pakistan Peoples Party in the past had not waged any movement against the judiciary when the Supreme Court had sent packing former PM Yusuf Raza Gilani nor the PPP launched any protest drive against former military ruler Pervez Musharraf when he had remained imprisoned for five years during the same regime.

He said the partners in the new coalition government had to get together to make decisions with consensus as the country and bureaucracy had been ruined. “Our relations with the outside world are virtually non-existent as they have lost trust in (our) government. We will try to improve the situation as much as we can,” he said.

The former president said that in his view, Pakistan was a country of 300 million people, as its population was not 220 million, and only they (the PPP) possessed the ability to run the country in this situation.

Answering a question, he suggested that only competent officers having no political affiliation should be appointed to run the affairs of the National Accountability Bureau and bureaucracy should not be bothered any more by NAB. The bureaucrats should be allowed to work freely without any coercion.

To a question, the former president said that he had not read the diplomatic cable sent by the Pakistan’s ambassador to the US (that became the basis of Imran Khan’s allegation that an American conspiracy was behind his ouster), but he did not think that any representative of the American State Department could speak in such an irresponsible manner as had been mentioned in the cable. “It is just a political myth he (Imran Khan) has created,” he said.

Zardari said he had himself led the charge of the entire no-confidence motion exercise but he had not received any phone call from anyone outside the country or even he did not receive a single gift from abroad after the success of the no-confidence vote. He said that he had personal ties with US President Joe Biden and he should have received at least one call from the American president after the success of the no-confidence vote.

He said the US had been facing serious challenges related to Russia and weakening of economy and dollar’s value. “Americans do not have time for a country like Pakistan to back any regime change effort.”

To another question, he said the opposition had undertaken the exercise of no-confidence vote to oust Imran Khan for the sake of survival of the country, its people and avoiding a civil war-like situation due to economic reasons.

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