PPP won’t allow creation of a new Bangladesh: Zardari

Published: February 10, 2019
Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: REUTERS

Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: REUTERS

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Cochairman Asif Ali Zardari has said the PPP will not allow creation of a new Bangladesh in Pakistan.

“After independence, leaders of India had planned to dismember Pakistan in around three decades. Though the Muslims respect [Congress chief] Moulana Abul Kalam Azad but he was also among these plotters. But this time we will not let another Bangladesh be created,” said Zardari while addressing a reception hosted by Senator Imamuddin Shouqeen in Tando Adam town of Sanghar district on Saturday.

In an oblique reference to the “powers” that be, Zardari said Pakistan was not created by “them” by winning a war but by “our” ancestors. “Quaid-e-Azam, who studied in a school of my ancestors, achieved the independence of Pakistan through political dialogue,” he added.

He reiterated that the PPP’s leadership was being implicated in the cases of corruption because the rulers wanted to amend the 18th Constitutional Amendment to abridge provincial autonomy. “Their fight, their war with us is for the resources … over Pakistan’s resources, not just Sindh’s resources.”

Zardari said he set the alarm bells ringing during July 25, 2018, general election but many people did not accept his prediction. “I used to say that this drama is about [rolling back] the 18th amendment.”

He said the transfer of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the National Institute for Child Health (NICH) to the federal government is a sign of the Centre attempting to revoke the provincial autonomy.

“And now they are shifting the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from Karachi to Islamabad. The people [in Karachi] will lose their jobs and control and in Islamabad, new offices will be established and they will take commission from the expenditures. This is their plan.”

In what appeared to be his advice to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government, Zardari asked them to find their feet and take some step. However, he added in the same breath, that government is too shaky to be able to act independently. “Although there is no need to take so much fright.”

The PPP’s co-chairman criticised the government for its mini-budgets and recalled how the PPP’s federal government from 2008 to 2013 took the popular measures of doubling the salaries of the government employees in its budgets.

He said Sindh has progressed a lot since the 1990s and praised Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for his effort for the province. But, he said, Shah is like a banker who is miserly when asked about money.

Earlier, Zardari inaugurated Suleman Roshan Medical College Tando Adam. The former president escaped a potential accident while landing in Tando Adam as his helicopter missed a flying red carpet which was laid out at the helipad. The carpet had flown up by gusts of wind generated by the helicopter.

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