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TOBA TEK SINGH: In what appears to be a tit-for-tat response to the allegations levelled against him by retired Gen Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday that if the former military ruler was brave he should return to the country and face cases against him in courts.

He was addressing a press conference at Kharal House which he visited to offer his condolences over the death of former federal minister Khalid Kharal to his family.

In a video statement posted on social media recently, Mr Musharraf accused Mr Zardari of being involved in the murders of his wife former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007 and her brother Murtaza Bhutto in 1996.

PPP co-chairman rejects allegations of his involvement in Benazir, Murtaza murders

The PPP co-chairman rejected Mr Musharraf’s allegations, claiming that the assassination of Benazir and Murtaza Bhutto were conspiracies against the PPP.

Talking about the murder of Murtaza Bhutto, he quoted a statement of his late wife after the murder, “one Bhutto has been attacked and the other one is being targeted”.

Mr Zardari also criticised the performance of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government and said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had proved that he did not know how to run a government. Just building roads was not enough for running a government, he remarked.

The PPP co-chairman raised questions over the economic policies of the government, saying that bad planning was taking the national economy downwards.

Comparing the economic performance of the PML-N government with that of the previous PPP government, he said that his party’s administration had faced tough economic conditions because of high oil prices in the international market at that time. But, he added, the PML-N had failed to give any relief to the masses despite low oil price during its tenure. He accused former PM Sharif of trying to promote and protect the interests of Indian businesses in Pakistan. He said the PPP government wanted to develop national economy with the collaboration of China.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2017