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Defiant Zardari has no intention to quit

Rehan Siddique
Filed on December 28, 2011
Defiant Zardari has no intention to quit

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday showed no signs of being a sick man and defiantly declared that he had no intention to quit despite facing a number of crises.

KARACHI/Garhi Khuda Bakhsh — Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday showed no signs of being a sick man and defiantly declared that he had no intention to quit despite facing a number of crises.

Addressing a large gathering on the fourth death anniversary of his wife Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the deeply unpopular president said that he would not quit and would continue to lead the nation as envisaged by the former prime minister.

“We want to create history, not headlines. I tell you, politics — which we have left to our Prime Minister (Yousuf Raza Gilani) and the cabinet — is the art of the possible. But making a nation is the art of the impossible and I believe I am doing the art of impossible,” he told hundreds of thousands of slogan-raising supporters who had come from all over the country to pay homage to their late leader.

Zardari, appearing before the public for the first time after his return from Dubai where he had gone for medical treatment, said that democracy was still in its infancy in Pakistan and it will take time to grow stronger and flourish. “We will only fight for democracy and nothing else,” he added.

The president in a defiant mood emphasised that he and Gilani were constitutional president and prime minister and their main objective was to serve the masses.

Taking a dig at the Supreme Court, which is currently pursuing several corruption cases against him, Zardari asked about the as-yet unsolved case of his wife’s assassination. “People ask, what happened to Benazir Bhutto’s case?,” he enquired. “I ask (Chief Justice) Iftikhar Chaudhry: What happened to Benazir Bhutto’s case?”

The president showed his anger at the media and advised his party leaders and activists not to attend TV talk shows that he claimed were merely to pitch politicians against each other.

Speaking from behind a bulletproof glass, Zardari shrugged aside the political heat generated by Imran Khan recently and rejected his ‘tsunami’. “It was not a tsunami, but a “Zoonami” (without any meaning),” he remarked.

“We are compared to countries like Singapore. Look at that country’s population and look at ours,” was his comment to Khan’s speech two days earlier.

The PPP co-chairman made it clear that Pakistan did not want to enter into any theatre of war. “We are friends of all. Nobody can dictate who we trade with and who do not,” an obvious reference to the United States asking Pakistan not to go ahead with a planned gas pipeline agreement with Iran.

The president said that south Punjab demands its rights from Takht-e-Lahore (throne of Lahore), a reference to PML-N’s Punjab government and believed that their wishes should be heard.

Zardari also pointed out that his government had implemented its 80 per cent of PPP manifesto and its remaining aspects would be implemented in the coming days and months.

news@khaleejtimes.com





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