Fata-KP merger a stepping stone towards progress in region, says Zardari

Updated May 25, 2018

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Asif Ali Zardari speaks at a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
Asif Ali Zardari speaks at a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

Praising the passage of Fata-KP merger bill from the National Assembly and Senate, PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said, "Merger is a stepping stone toward further progress."

While addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Zardari observed that the entire parliament deserved appreciation for the historic move. He also chose to specially mention former PPP senator Farhatullah Babar for his efforts for Fata reforms.

He also recounted the efforts of PPP government as well as those of Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for envisioning the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

When asked about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's allegations about Zardari approaching him for Pervez Musharraf's indemnity, the former president categorically denied any such meeting, adding that it was in fact he [Zardari] who had forced the former dictator out of office.

He noted that Sharif says one thing while does the other, which was evident from Musharraf case in which "his [Nawaz] government said that Musharraf should be allowed to leave" when asked by the court.

Zardari also claimed that he was the only personality, which the international community was prepared to accept as a replacement for Musharraf for the presidency.

Zardari said that he had allowed PML-N to make the government in Punjab in 2008 to have the party on board so Nawaz could take certain decisions, including the ouster of Musharraf.

The former president refuted the impression that the PPP had been let off the hook by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and said that his people were still facing cases and were in jails while none of the PML-N leaders has so far reached jail.

"We are not with the establishment, we are with the country," he said, demanding that Sharif should clarify whether he was with the country or with some other outside force.