Lahore: President Asif Ali Zardari is behind a move to delay Pakistan`s general election, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has alleged.
"The Attorney General`s support for (cleric) Tahir-ul- Qadri`s petition in the Supreme Court to reconstitute the Election Commission shows President Zardari wants to delay the general election," said Sharif, the younger brother of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.
The Supreme Court rejected Qadri`s petition for dissolving the the Election Commission, saying the cleric had failed to prove his eligibility to file such a petition.
The apex court also repeatedly questioned Qadri about his Canadian nationality.
"By supporting Qadri`s petition through his Attorney General, Zardari has proved that he is behind him (Qadri) to delay the polls," Sharif alleged at a gathering yesterday.
"Zardari is behind the conspiracy to delay the general election and to derail the electoral process," he added.
Sharif contended that the people would thwart Zardari`s designs.
This was the first time any senior leader of the main opposition PML-N party has directly pointed a finger at Zardari about possible moves to delay polls expected to be held in May.
Earlier, the PML-N had accused the security establishment of backing Qadri and hatching conspiracies to delay the election.
The PML-N is of the view that Qadri was `imported` from Canada by Zardari for delaying the polls.
"Since the PPP is likely to lose in the coming polls, its leadership wants to delay it," PML-N spokesman Pervaiz Rashid said.
Qadri returned to Pakistan late last year after living in Canada for seven years.
He triggered a storm in political circles by launching a movement to push the federal government to carry out sweeping electoral reforms.