Nawaz Sharif has reverted to revenge politics of the 90s: Zardari

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Monday, August 31, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People's Party co-chairperson and former president, Asif Ali Zardari, on Monday said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reverted to revenge politics of the 1990s, referring to the recent arrests of high-profile PPP members.

He said first Qasim Zia and Senator Bangash's son were arrested, which was followed by Dr Asim’s arrested by Rangers. Immediately afterwards, warrants for the arrests of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Amin Fahim were also issued, he said.

In a statement issued from London, Zardari said bureaucrats in Sindh were being harassed by the Federal Investigation Agency and the National Accountability Bureau – pointing out that the chief secretary of Sindh is also currently on bail.

“All this unmistakably presents a clear pattern of political harassment and revenge,” he said, adding that Sindh had been immobilised under direct orders from the Prime Minister House.

The PPP co-chair said it appeared Nawaz Sharif had not learnt lessons from the past.

“We are not the ones who fled to Jeddah after seeking pardon. The nation very well knows that Nawaz Sharif holds the ‘honor’ of applying for pardon.”

We accepted the results of the 2013 general elections for the sake of democracy, although those elections were “ROs’ elections,” said Zardari, adding that the recent verdicts from election tribunals “proved our point that the PML-N received outside help and was made to win the elections.”

The former president said at a time when “our innocent citizens are being killed by indiscriminate shelling in border villages by the enemy, when Pakistani Army is fighting a decisive war against terrorists… Nawaz Sharif, instead of challenging the real enemy, is targeting Peoples Party and other political opponents.”

Zardari said steps being taken by the government clearly indicate that it is dividing the nation in an attempt to save their natural allies – Taliban and terrorists – and weaken the war against terror.

He said the PPP stands with the army in the ongoing war against terrorism. “We salute our jawans who gave the ultimate sacrifices in this war.”

Earlier, following the arrest of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and party leader Qasim Zia, PPP had reacted strongly and had out rightly refuted the allegations leveled against the office bearers.

The PPP denied the impression it was involved in terror financing, saying the party had itself suffered huge losses in the fight against terrorism. “How can you say that PPP is involved in terror financing?”

The party’s senior vice president Sherry Rehman said the PPP has always been on the front-line in the war against terror.

PPP has always respected the judiciary and will not carry out action that hampers the current democratic setup in the country, she said.

Talking about the ongoing anti-corruption drive in Sindh, Rehman clarified that the “PPP has no objection whatsoever over the operation and will create no hurdle in its implementation”.

But she said “it looks like politics of revenge is being carried out with the PPP as the sole target.”

“We will keep alive our tradition of struggle for democracy and will face every atrocity,” said the PPP vice president.

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