NEW YORK, Feb 25: Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari says a coalition of PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-N will be unable to impeach President Pervez Musharraf and, therefore, he will seek a working relationship with the embattled leader.
“The ground reality is that we do not have two-thirds majority in both the houses of parliament” that would be required for a successful impeachment, Mr Zardari told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
“Our main objective is to work for the smooth transition to democracy,” he said.
The WSJ said that Mr Zardari’s comments were among the most conciliatory to date regarding its intended approach to Mr Musharraf.
The PPP-PML-N pairing has caused concern that the two parties might focus too much on seeking Mr Musharraf’s ouster and not enough on fighting religious militants.
“We want to unify the country, which is facing some very serious challenges,” Mr Zardari said.
“We have to establish democracy and for that we need unity and not confrontation.”
The PPP has not nominated its candidate for the top job of prime minister, but Mr Zardari confirmed that Amin Fahim was the front-runner.
“We will name the candidate when the party is invited to form the government,” he said.Mr Zardari said the PPP government would increase cooperation with the US, adding that Pakistan faced its own threat from extremists.
“We are fighting our own war on terror, rather than the American war on terror,” he said.Mr Zardari said his government wouldn’t talk to the militants, but that it would reach out to the people living in the tribal areas.
“We will take democracy there and political reforms to win the support of the tribesmen.”
Mr Zardari also said that he did not have any intention of becoming prime minister, but would concentrate on party organisation and assist the government.
Though leader of the party, he didn’t seek a seat in parliament in the election. “It is more important to guide the government and the party,” he said.
He also indicated that he might run for a parliamentary seat in a by-election in Ms Bhutto’s constituency in Sindh.
“I will contest the elections if the party decides,” he said.