Zardari predicts downfall of government

Says 18th Amendment, control of Sindh's resources behind govt's campaign in province

Z Ali January 17, 2019
PPP co-chairperson Asif Zardari: PHOTO: FILE

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari says Prime Minister Imran Khan's government will be unable to complete its tenure in light of the recent decision of opposition parties to join hands.

Speaking at the 32nd death anniversary of Fazil Rahu, a leader of Movement for Restoration of Democracy, in Badin district on Thursday, Zardari alleged that the powers which want to oust him from the arena of politics actually covet control of Sindh's natural resources.

"Their war with me is only over the 18th constitutional amendment," he told the crowd of party's supporters at the public meeting. "Because the plots, the lands have finished in whole Pakistan now and only some reserves of gas and oil have remained. Now they want control of that, too."

Zardari, along with son and party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, met Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Tuesday, which was attended by leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Awami National Party as well. In the meeting, opposition leaders agreed to adopt a joint strategy on crucial matters.

Referring to the meeting, Zardari told party supporters that he found it inconceivable that Imran Khan's government would complete its tenure.

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Calling the government corrupt, he said they have to answer for that many ills, including embezzling funds earmarked for charity, not only in the hereafter but in this world as well.

He asserted that not only the establishment and the ordinary people are at variance but ordinary soldiers also have similar concerns about the powers that be. "They are with them [the establishment] because of their salary. They take orders to go to the front [lines] and give sacrifices. But mentally, they aren't with you," he thundered.

The former president warned the powers that be to stop pushing him and his party's leadership against the wall. 'If you don't stop, the people will no longer remain in my control."

Zardari contended that he is dealing with the same conspiracy that was faced by PPP's founding chairman and former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former PM Benazir Bhutto and Rahu.

He added that the people of Sindh are very much aware of their rights and that even people in the rest of the country knew their rights. Zardari didn't mince words in his criticism of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, saying that people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Balochistan and Punjab besides Sindh are aware that the PTI government was formed through electoral engineering.

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He pulled no punches when talking about the prime minister. "But if you [Imran Khan] have been made an accidental, a sudden prime minister, you should learn to govern?" But he hastened to add that the PTI leadership lacks the intention of serving the people and that they are not connected with the masses.

Zardari claimed that the poor of Pakistan are cursing the PTI-led government because of inflation and redundancy. He highlighted the country's current economic woes, including the government's failure to prevent the depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar. He contended that inflation was a direct consequence of the depreciation. "We used to keep a very close eye on the value of the dollar," he remarked.

Comparing the current government's performance with that of the PPP from 2008 to 2013, Zardari said that he resisted proposals seeking hike in power tariffs. He also credited the then PPP government for making gains in the domains of governance, development and rights.

The PPP leader was also all praise for party's provincial government in Sindh, where it has been in power for over 10 years. He assured the people that the provincial government will fulfill their demands for providing water for domestic and irrigation purposes, constructing roads, establishing universities and providing other facilities.

He sought assistance from Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to create more jobs in the government sector for the people in Sindh.

The provincial minister Ismail Rahu, son of late Fazil Rahu, and other party leaders also addressed the public gathering.



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