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LAHORE: Former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari says Pakistan faces a “threat from Mujeebur Rehman of Jati Umra” and he can send the PML-N government packing any time.

Reminding ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif of his ‘loyalty’ to the country, Mr Zardari said: “You (Nawaz) had taken the oath of prime minister and you are still bound by this oath. But you are trying to weaken the country.”

Mr Zardari was addressing the rally of united opposition on The Mall here on Wednesday. Almost the entire mainstream leadership of the PPP was present in the rally. It included Khursheed Shah, former premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Aitzaz Ahsan, Nayyar Bokhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Latif Khosa, Rehman Malik and Manzoor Wattoo.

A good number of PPP, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid workers were also present outside the venue.

Not many PPP workers managed to get closer to the stage when Zardari entered the venue. The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers occupied the front rows. As it was a multi-party show, it was giving a disintegrated look. Most of the workers of these parties had reached the venue early afternoon. When the main leadership of these parties started reaching the venue after sunset, many of them left for food outlets in nearby points in Mozang and Queenz Road.

Referring to Nawaz comments about East Pakistan-like situation, Zardari reminded former PM that he had not faced hostilities as they (Zardari and Benazir Bhutto) faced. “But BB Sahiba and I always talked about strengthening Pakistan and raised the slogan of long live Pakistan. I ask him to do politics but do not talk about breaking Pakistan,” he said.

The PPP co-chairman further said he could send the PML-N government home any time but “I think for Pakistan as it has to move forward.”

Talking to reporters, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah revealed that Nawaz wanted to dissolve the National Assembly in the wake of Islamabad sit-in staged by Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan in 2014. “I had told Nawaz not to think of dissolving the assemblies. Even Zardari had called on Nawaz and extended to him the party support. We did so to save the parliament and other institutions,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2018