LARKANA, Feb 6: One needed to contest elections to first become an MNA before seeking the post of prime minister, says Pakistan People’s Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.

He was talking to a delegation of journalists in Naudero on Wednesday.

“I am not contesting the elections and, therefore, the question of my becoming a candidate for the post of prime minister does not arise,” Mr Zardari said.

He said he had spoken to Babar Awan who had issued a statement in this regard and Mr Awan clarified that he expressed his personal desire. He added that the statement had been ‘misinterpreted’.

Terming PML-Q a party of ‘political orphans’ which did not even have a candidate for the post of prime minister, he said that people like Moeen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz had come and gone. However, he said, there were “some people” in the PML-Q with whom “we could talk on the issue”.

Replying to a question, he said Ms Zubaida Jalal was an apolitical figure and was famous for her social work so she should concentrate on it.

He said that the will of Ms Benazir Bhutto had been made public now in view of the tradition of making such documents public only on Chehlum.

Mr Zardari said that he wanted to resolve the problems of the provinces by amending the 1973 Constitution, adding there was no bar on making such amendments. He suggested that political parties should work together to work out a solution after the formation of a national government following the elections.

He, however, clarified that he was not talking about a new constitution.

According to an AP report, a PPP spokeman said the party had not yet decided whether Asif Zardari would be its candidate for prime minister after parliamentary elections.

Farhatullah Babar said it was ‘premature’ to say whether Mr Zardari would be nominated for prime minister when the new parliament convenes.

“That decision will be taken after the elections” on Feb 18, Mr Babar said.



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