Zardari speaking to huge crowds after landing in Pakistan https://goo.gl/4wpkNcPosted by Express Tribune on Friday, December 23, 2016
Former president Asif Ali Zardari landed in Karachi on Friday afternoon from United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the end of his self-imposed exile after a year and a half.
Addressing his supporters outside the airport, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairman said there is a sense of despair in Pakistan.
"However, I want to tell you that I have brought hope and not despair with me. I assure you that my programme will give Pakistanis new hope." Pakistan is secure with the efforts of the masses and the armed forces and will never face failure, he said.
The former president further said Pakistani flag has become the symbol of freedom for Kashmiris. “Kashmir will become part of Pakistan,” he remarked.
Slamming his opponents, Zardari said his critics accused him of escaping the country even when he was president of Pakistan. “I want to tell them that we [PPP leaders] will be buried in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.”
The former president went on to add that his party will once again rule the country and establish itself in the Parliament.
The PPP co-chairman also expressed pleasure over the thriving democracy and democratic culture in the country. “We will keep moving forward with the spirit of democracy and as only democracy has the solution for Pakistan’s problems.”
Earlier, Zardari held a meeting with Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah at the airport lounge.
The PPP leader had left the country in June last year following a hard-hitting speech that criticised the establishment for over-stepping its domain, thereby offending it. Since then, he divided his time between Dubai and London.
Nawaz ‘happy’ on Zardari’s return to Pakistan
“His phone call to the new army chief paved the way for his homecoming,” a party leader said.
Upon arrival, the former president met Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah at the airport lounge. PPP, heading the provincial government in Sindh, has made arrangements to hold a public meeting at the Old Terminal.
Hour before Zardari's arrival, Rangers raided multiple offices of his close aide Anwar Majid. Five people were detained and weapons recovered during the raids.
Rangers raid offices of Zardari's close aide in Karachi
According to party office-bearers, Zardari is likely to address the public meeting where Benazir Bhutto came under attack at Karsaz in 2007. Extraordinary security measures have been taken: army and Rangers personnel will be placed in and around the Old Terminal and Sharea Faisal.
The PPP, however, cancelled the rally and Zardari will now use helicopter to reach Bilawal House. PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is already in Dubai and it is likely that he will return with his father (Asif Ali Zardari). The welcoming event has been arranged by the party’s Karachi chapter.
Festive mood prevails over most parts of Karachi and Zardari’s portraits and flag of the PPP dot various roads across the Sindh metropolis.
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