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PML-N Leader Khawaja Asif Says He Doesn’t Trust Zardari

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif has questioned the commitment of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to the anti-government alliance, saying it was difficult for him to ‘trust Zardari’.

“I still have reservations against this gentleman [Zardari],” the former foreign minister said during a TV show on Express News. The PML-N leader said that he still had reservations about trusting Zardari and his opinion of the former president had not changed.

“It is difficult for me to believe him [Zardari] even today,” he added. “I will say this again and again, I don’t believe him.”

The statement by Asif came a week after the formation of an anti-government alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) that was formed to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and put the ‘democracy’ back on track.

The decision was taken at an all-parties conference organised by PPP at a hotel in Islamabad and former president Asif Ali Zardari was the keynote speaker.

After the statement of Kh Asif, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters in London that he has a ‘great deal of respect for Asif Ali Zardari’. According to Express Tribune, the former premier said he didn’t agree with the remarks made Asif nor did the party endorse them.

In May last year, Khawaja Asif also skipped a dinner hosted by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari because of his cold ties with Asif Zardari. 

“When the case for Khawaja Asif’s disqualification was filed in the apex court by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Usman Dar, Asif approached prominent lawyer Farooq Naek to represent him. Naek, who is a PPP leader, is also a close family relative of Khawaja Asif. Naek told Khawaja Asif that he would seek Zardari’s permission. But Naek’s response disappointed Khawaja Asif as Naek told him that Zardari had refused to allow him to take the case. The PML-N veteran from Sialkot was infuriated.”

Before this episode, Khawaja Asif and Asif Zardari were close friends. “When anybody in our party needed anything from Zardari, we would request Khawaja Asif for help,” revealed a party insider to Naya Daur.

Pakistan Democratic Movement

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in a bid to oust the government has decided phase-wise protests against the ruling PTI. They also demanded the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

PDM announced that the opposition parties would launch a three-phased anti-government movement from next month, with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies in December, and a ‘decisive’ long march towards Islamabad in January 2021.

The opposition said it would enlist lawyers, traders, farmers, students, media as well as members of the civil society in its movement against the government. The resolution said the opposition parties will use every ‘legal and constitutional option in and out of parliament, which include moving no-confidence motions and collective resignations from assemblies at an appropriate time’, the resolution stated.

The opposition also demanded a new accountability law in the country in compliance with the Supreme Court verdict and suggestions made by the human rights watchdogs and the Council of Islamic Ideology. It also demanded accountability for all so that everyone could be held accountable, including bureaucrats, lawmakers, judicial and army officials.

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