“Hotchpotch sort”
of PTI govt will
not last: Asif Zardari

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HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said that he has already predicted that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government could not deliver and this “hotchpotch sort” of government could not last.

Without naming anyone, the former president said that he was asked to offer assistance and share some formula but he told them that first this government should be sent packing and then talks could be held.

He was addressing party workers at Zardari House and a reception hosted in his honour by MPA Tariq Masood Arain in Nawabshah on Monday.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari

According to a Dawn report, Asif Zardari said that building Pakistan was easy but they could neither build the country nor listen and understand. But time would come that they would have to listen, understand and follow our advice, he said without naming anyone.

The PPP leader expressed concern over the present situation Pakistan is facing. He said that the rulers ate, earned dollars and slept whereas the country’s debt had risen from $30bn to $60bn. “We have best economic wizards and we have the ability to get rid of debt,” he said. “The longer they [rulers] stay the more difficulties will have to be faced to undo the wrong.”

He said the PPP had taken care of Pakistan and would take care of it again. “I had said earlier that if NAB (National Accountability Bureau) keeps working, this government will not work and today they [government] are running NAB and not government,” he asserted and said that secretaries of government departments were not willing to sign papers. “Now relaxation is being given to bureaucrats in NAB laws but it is of no avail because damage has already been done”, he said.

He said that rate of dollar had risen considerably and it was hovering over Rs180. “The country doesn’t need devaluation (of rupee) and those talking about devaluation are fool and this has harmed the country,” he said.

He said that PPP had given jobs to people and raised salaries of government employees while controlling price hike and keep dollar’s rate under check. He accused PTI government of destroying everything. “There is a tsunami of price hike and a mini budget is being presented”, he said. He said the PPP never rendered anyone jobless and would not do so again when elected to power. He said Benazir Bhutto used to say if giving jobs to people was a crime then it would be committed again and again.

He said that he had stated in his first speech in parliament after 2018 general elections that this “hotchpotch sort” of government would not deliver. “But now situation has come to such a pass that people ask me for assistance and or to share a formula and devise a mechanism. I said first this government should be sent packing and then we will start talking. We will take care of Pakistan as we have earlier done it. Whenever Pakistan faces a difficult situation PPP has rescued the country.”

He said that sugar was imported during Musharraf regime but the PPP government made the country self-sufficient in sugar in just one year.

“We have to think about future generation as to what would happen after 15 years”.

In a lighter vein and using cricket parlance, he said that he had just stepped in Lahore and he would face their pitch and bowling and would go for a sixer. “I just need your prayers to have more strength.” He said: “I would make them understand Bhuttoism and make them run.”

He said people would see that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would become prime minister. He said that PPP had been fighting and would keep fighting.

He said that commodities prices had increased substantially and mutton was being sold for Rs1,400 per kg. He said that Pakistan was a blessed country gifted by God and created by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. “It’s true that we faced losses but today we have our own country. Look at India. What is happening with Muslims there,” he said.

Mr Zardari said that till today people tried to harm the Bhuttos. “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto are fighting from their graves and we are fighting on their behalf,” he said.

He said that he had accepted responsibility he owed to the PPP. “Bibi used to say she didn’t chose politics but politics chose her”, he said. He said that Benazir Bhutto guided and spoke to him. “Do you think I am kidding? She is always in my thoughts and is with me. I often think what she would have done and what Z.A. Bhutto would have done today”, he said.