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Former president Asif Ali Zardari, while addressing a public gathering in Mardan on Monday, discounted the notion that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan could serve as a leader for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's youth.

"He [Khan] calls himself a leader of the youth. How can he be a leader of the youth? He is older than me. Bilawal is the leader for the young people," he said, referring to his son and PPP chairman.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari addresses public gathering in Mardan.─DawnNews
Former president Asif Ali Zardari addresses public gathering in Mardan.─DawnNews

The PPP has, following the Supreme Court's Panamagate verdict, launched a countrywide movement to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Following the announcement of the verdict, Khan and Zardari have locked horns, with the PTI chief rallying for support in Sindh, saying he has set his sights on the PPP leader.

"Asif Zardari, I am coming after you," the PTI chairman told supporters in Sindh, alleging that the former president had "ruled over Sindh using the politics of fear".

"He has property everywhere. Is he really sympathetic to your suffering?" Imran said, attempting to cast doubt over Zardari's loyalties to the people of Sindh.

In response, the PPP leader today rallied in the PTI-ruled province of KP and dismissed the notion that Khan was a true Pathan.

"A captain has come ... He thinks he is a Pakhtun. He writes Khan after his name. No one knows him here," he told the crowd in Mardan.

"He calls himself a Pathan, but for that, you need to be able to speak Pashto," he added.

"Till today no one has thought about giving the Pakhtuns an identity," the PPP-Parliamentarians president said, adding that he and his party members had "done everything" for them.

Turning to the dissenting notes of two senior judges in the Panamagate verdict, Zardari said even the judiciary "have told Mian sahab 'Go Nawaz, go'."

The PPP-Parliamentarians president, while addressing a press conference after the announcement of the Panamagate verdict last week, had slammed the PTI chief for not joining hands with the PPP in the case.

"Imran Khan, we told you to join us and form legislation and then take it to the court," he said. "But he [Khan] does not listen. He has never been to jail, he does not know how judges work, how justice works."

"We believe that if Pakistan is not safe in the hands of Nawaz Sharif, it is also not safe in the hands of Imran Khan," the former president, whose own party is gunning for a victory in the next election, had said.