LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari speaks to journalists on Friday.—Ali Arif / White Star
LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari speaks to journalists on Friday.—Ali Arif / White Star

LAHORE: Amid political mudslinging between main opposition parties, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari has expressed willingness to join hands with his party’s arch-rival, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan, if the situation demands it.

Talking to journalists on Friday after a condolence visit to PPP leader Samina Khalid Ghurki, whose mother recently passed away, Mr Zardari said: “If a post-election situation requires it, we will strike an alliance with Imran Khan like [we did] [in the Senate elections]2.”

He referred to the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” while explaining that they would not forge an alliance to enter power corridors, as the PPP was also prepared to sit on the opposition benches. Replying to a question, the PPP leader said Mr Khan appeared to be in haste to become prime minister, but he (Mr Zardari) was not in such a hurry since he had previously lived in the President House as well as in the Prime Minister House.

Commenting on Nawaz’s remarks, the former president says ‘aliens’ supported ex-PM in 1988 polls

Answering a query about the former prime minister’s statement that “aliens” were trying to form a parliament of their choice, he said that PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif should explain who these ‘aliens’ were, adding that the same aliens had supported Mr Sharif in the 1988 polls.

He said the Supreme Court was set to take up the Asghar Khan case in which Mr Sharif had played an important role.

Asked why he was not ready to meet the PML-N supremo even though they had enjoyed a cordial relationship in the past, the PPP leader said that Mr Sharif had damaged the democratic project nurtured by the sacrifices of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and leader Benazir Bhutto. He added that he, too, had served 11 years in jail for the cause.

“The Prince Saleem of the Mughal Empire (referring to Mr Sharif) has negated all this struggle and weakened democracy through his style of governance. What crime could be bigger than this?” he questioned.

Replying to a query about the difference in his and his son Bilawal’s politics, he said the difference was natural because of their ages. He said Bilawal was 29 years old, while he was over 60.

The PPP co-chairperson said he did not believe the general elections would be delayed.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2018

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