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Days of dictators’ rule have ended, says Zardari – Pakistan

PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said the era of dictators ruling Pakistan has ended, and held the PML-N responsible for letting former president Pervez Musharraf leave the country.

During his speech at Mochi Gate in Lahore on Kashmir Day, the PPP-P leader said: “The time has come when no dictator can set his sights on the power.”

Zardari blamed the incumbent federal government for letting Musharraf leave, saying: “They say ‘we will bring Musharraf back.’ I request journalists to go through the proceedings of Musharraf’s case. This [PML-N] government had told the court that they don’t object to Musharraf going abroad. Hence, when the government did not object, the court also let him leave.”

Zardari reminded his audience of the sacrifices he and his party have made for the sake of democracy, claiming that they even declined Musharraf’s power-sharing offer.

“It was for democracy that we remained in jail for 15 years,” he said. “It was for democracy that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto kissed the noose. Benazir Bhutto gave her life. When she came here there was an attack on her life but she still took the risk, which was for democracy, not for power.

“Musharraf was ready to share power from day one and forever. But we wanted to kick Musharraf out. When we gave you Punjab we wanted Musharraf out because he was a dictator.”

Zardari backed his party to right all the wrongs that the incumbent federal government has done, saying: “Even today PPP is so powerful that whatever loans they (PML-N) have taken and whatever problems they have created, PPP can resolve them.”

The former president accused the PML-N government of misusing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying: “They don’t understand the CPEC. They think of it as a loan-taking mechanism. CPEC was the first step of a huge project that could have made us a regional economic power. We could have become China’s force multiplier. Even today China imports food worth trillions but you [PML-N] can’t even sell its sugar.”

Zardari alleged that such policies are not borne out of naivety but are actually a part of a sinister plan of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif. “I don’t think he is that naive or stupid. He is purposefully creating an environment. He is using chaos theory just like Hitler did… and wants to take over everything of the public.

“But we won’t let them do this. We will not leave him because if we do this now then even Allah may not forgive us. He is a national thief.”

Zardari accused PML-N of ‘stealing Pakistan’s mandate’ in the 2013 general elections but assured his audience that that won’t be the case in 2018.

“In parliament, we’ve got a bill passed which ensures that elections can’t be rigged now. They can’t invest billions now because they don’t have a heart.

“Next elections will be fair.”

Zardari also vowed to win the 2018 elections. “We will win from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Baloch and even Punjab,” he said. “Remember whenever I have made a claim I have completed it. I told you I can end their government and it has happened.”

Up to 15 injured as signboard collapses

Between 10 to 15 people, who were attending Zardari’s political event, were injured and rushed to the hospital after a signboard they had climbed on collapsed.

One of the injured was reported to be in critical condition.

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