‘Borrowed’ govt doesn’t actually exist: Asif Zardari

Former PPP president says situation in Afghanistan may have implications for Pakistan


Our Correspondent June 29, 2021
Former president Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

PPP supreme leader Asif Ali Zardari has said the PTI-led federal government relies on “borrowed” power and does not really exist anywhere but even if it existed, it would be sent packing.

“A government based on borrowed power does not exist; but if it exists anywhere, it will be ousted,” the former president said on Tuesday while answering the informal questions of journalists at the National Assembly building.

To a question with regard to the situation in Afghanistan, Zardari said there is a need to keep an eye on the political situation in the neighboring country and also to deliberate over it.

“The situation is critical and it may have an effect on Pakistan,” he said. He also urged the government to take parliament into confidence with regard to the country’s policy on Israel.

Civil and military officials will brief key members of parliament this week on the current situation in Afghanistan and its likely implications for the country. The National Assembly’s Committee on National Security will meet on Thursday.

The meeting, convened by NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, will be attended by NA Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other parliamentary leaders.

The opposition members have been complaining that the elected representatives have been kept in the dark about Pakistan’s policy with regard to Afghanistan which faces an uncertain future and is potentially heading towards another civil war.

It is expected that military and intelligence authorities would apprise the committee about the policy being pursued by Pakistan on Afghanistan and the country’s strategy to deal with the negative fallout of unrest in the neighbouring country.

Read more: NAB opposes Zardari’s trial transfer plea

Since the US and Nato forces began their withdrawal from May 1, the Afghan Taliban have made rapid inroads, capturing over 70 districts in 6 months and even stretching their influence to the north which had never been their stronghold in the past.

The Taliban’s advancement is so rapid that it even caught Pakistan by surprise. Officials told The Express Tribune that Pakistan was not expecting the Taliban to make quick gains after the US and Nato began pulling their troops out of the war-torn country.

The biggest worry in Pakistan is that in the absence of a political settlement, Afghanistan may be heading towards another cycle of civil war. American officials have acknowledged that the country that is going to be affected the most because of the Afghan civil war is Pakistan.

Earlier, Zardari appeared before an accountability court in the federal capital in a case related to a suspicious banking transaction of Rs8 billion. His daughter, Aseefa, accompanied him.

Zardari’s counsel, Farooq H Naek, submitted his Wakalatnama and the verdict of the former president’s bail. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted a report on Mushtaq Ahmed, the alleged front man of Zardari, stating that Ahmed did not appear when summoned for interrogation.

“According to our information, Mushtaq Ahmed fled the country in 2015. The court should issue a warrant for him,” the NAB prosecutor said.  The court later reissued a summons for Ahmed.

The accountability court also ordered its office to provide Zardari with copies of the reference and adjourned the hearing till July 27. Earlier, NAB had opposed Zardari’s request to transfer his cases from the accountability courts in Islamabad to similar courts in Karachi in view of his illness.

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