HYDERABAD: In a seemingly double-edged intimation, conveyed at a public meeting on Friday in Mirpurkhas, Pakistan Peoples Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari called on ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif to spill the beans.
In what could be interpreted as either a counsel of despair or, contrarily, a reassurance, Zardari said political secrets which Sharif referred to on Jan 3 can be disclosed for public knowledge.
“We don’t say we will hang you. We just say things can be told for the sake of history and for the awareness of the people,” Zardari said while addressing the supporters at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto stadium marking the 90th birth anniversary of PPP’s founding leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s chief on Wednesday warned that he might be compelled to tell the people about the patronage which his political opponents have been getting. “I will tell everything and share the evidence with the nation.”
Zardari said Sharif himself is a big secret. “He says he will tell secrets of the past. We also know the past secrets.”
He again mentioned that the charter of democracy signed by former PM Benazir Bhutto and Sharif provided for truth and reconciliation.
“You may go ahead with truth and reconciliation. You should tell us about [former dictator] Ziaul Haq, what you did, and what happened. We will also tell you [our part],” he said.
“You are going to fight against your own establishment [and] lead protests against your own government?”
He said federal ministers and institutions still worked under Sharif and advised him to ask Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to resign if he believed that the latter cannot manage the government.
“Tell him that he is incapable of running the government [and] he may resign.”
Zardari alluded to the threatening messages which the PML-N has allegedly conveyed to the PPP’s leadership and asserted that his party cannot be frightened, “unlike the N-league”.
The former president recalled that thousands of PPP’s leaders and supporters faced incarceration for years when the party remained in the opposition.
He criticised Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif for lacking English language skills.
“Such is your foreign minister. He will talk about your country in the world and represent you this way…because this is their [PML-N’s] wisdom, politics and understanding.”
Zardari recalled that the portfolio of the foreign minister remained vacant during the first four years of the government and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari kept asking the government to appoint a foreign minister.
The former president said the country is certainly facing difficulties because of inept leadership of the incumbent federal government.
He claimed that the N-league was brought into power for the purpose of facilitating friends of the Sharif family to establish industries. “They were brought for a purpose and they have been fulfilling it.”
Praising Bhutto he said, “I can’t claim that I am a Bhutto, but I do claim that Bhutto’s soul is in my body”.
He recalled that Benazir Bhutto always felt sad that she never saw her father before he was hanged and then criticised Sharif, saying, “[Sharif] also couldn’t see the face of your spiritual father [Ziaul Haq]. No one saw his face [before or after his death].”