Asif Ali Zardari says previous PML-N govern­ments instituted cases against him and his wife, former PM Benazir Bhutto.
Asif Ali Zardari says previous PML-N govern­ments instituted cases against him and his wife, former PM Benazir Bhutto.

NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Former president and Pakis­tan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said the latter will now understand what genuine accountability is.

Addressing gatherings of PPP workers and supporters in Qalander Bux Mubejo village and Bhiria town of Naushahro Feroze district on Thursday, he claimed that Mr Sharif was nervous when his children were being questioned by the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate money laundering allegations against the Sharif family.

He accused the previous governments of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) of making fake cases against him and his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and dragging them in courts.

Mr Zardari said he had been kept in prison for 14 years during which he was subjected to severe torture. “Now you [Nawaz Sharif] will have to face accountability,” he added.

PPP co-chairman criticises govt’s economic policies

He said it would be difficult for Mr Sharif to hide the alleged corruption of his current and previous governments in this age of information technology. “Mian Nawaz Sharif is confused and he has lost courage because the JIT is now questioning him and members of his family,” he said, adding that the prime minister now had no chance to escape from accountability.

The former president accused both Mr Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chair­man Imran Khan of not respecting democracy. He said he was a democratic person and would always work for its promotion in the country.

Terming the 2013 general election an “election of ROs”, he said the PPP accepted its results only for the sake of democracy.

Mr Zardari criticised the PML-N government’s economic policies and said the country’s exports were decreasing because of it. He claimed that economic indicators were positive during the previous PPP government.

He also accused the government of PM Sharif of making the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Keti Bandar, Thar Coal and Gwadar port projects controversial.

He expressed concern over the rhetoric used by US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to the United States and alleged that the PML-N government had no clear policy in this regard. The prime minister was busy protecting himself and his children from allegations of corruption and had no time to think about threats to Pakistan.

The former president claimed that the PPP had always protected the country and brought it out of crises. The party’s previous government introduced the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and gave autonomy to provinces, he added.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah said that the PPP truly understood politics and the party’s mission was to serve people.

He criticised the government’s economic policies and claimed that it had failed to create jobs for young people.

He claimed that a number of industrial units in the country were now closed due to poor policies of the government. He said the government had also failed to solve the problem of energy shortage in the country.

He accused the government of threatening judges, JIT members and journalists. The opposition leader said the PPP would win next elections in all the provinces of the country.

Former chief minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh Law Minster Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Syed Nasir Shah and some MNAs and MPAs were present.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2017