Khawaja Asif’s statement meant to create rifts within opposition: Zardari

Published October 5, 2020
Former president Asif Ali Zardari appears at an accountability court in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
Former president Asif Ali Zardari appears at an accountability court in Islamabad on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Monday called out senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif for creating rifts within the opposition after the latter said he still had "reservations" about the PPP co-chairman.

"Khawaja Asif made the remarks against me at someone’s behest. It is an attempt to create rifts within the opposition," Zardari said during an informal talk with journalists outside an accountability court in Islamabad.

The former president was speaking after being indicted in the Park Lane and Thatta Water Supply references.

His comments come days after Asif, in a talk show on TV, said it was "difficult" for him to trust Zardari.

In an interview with Express News on September 30, the PML-N leader said he still had "reservations" about Zardari after being asked whether he trusted the PPP.

"In politics, your adversaries today may become your friends tomorrow and your adversaries again later. There is a difference in approach and objective. As for now, we are on the same platform. We are sharing the same objectives."

When asked about comments he had made earlier in which he said he regretted the "investment" made in Zardari, Asif said he still had the same sentiments.

"I still have reservations against the gentleman [Zardari]," he said.

Referring to his earlier statement, Asif said people within his party and the PPP knew what he was referring to when he made the comments.

"[So] it is difficult for me to believe in him even today. I will say this again and again, I still don't believe in him. But I would love to believe in that young man [Bilawal]."

However, following Asif's remarks, PML-N supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif reiterated the trust he had for Zardari.

"I have a lot of respect for Zardari in my heart. He is part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and I absolutely respect him in my heart and I don’t know if Khawaja Asif made a statement against Zardari or not," Geo.tv quoted the PML-N supremo as saying.

When told about Khawaja Asif's statement, Nawaz replied: "I have expressed to you the sentiments I have in my heart [for Zardari]."

The statements come shortly after the opposition announced the formation of an alliance, called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), to oust the ruling PTI government.

Opposition leaders had announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and en mass resignations from parliament, to seek “the selected prime minister’s resignation and an end to the role of the establishment in politics”.

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