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Zardari takes on detractors on Zulfiqar`s death anniversary

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 15:00

Islamabad: Embattled President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday used the death anniversary of former premier
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to answer his detractors, saying he was
capable of countering any attack launched on his PPP-led
government.

Addressing a massive gathering at the Bhutto family`s
stronghold of Garhi Khuda Bux early this morning, Zardari said
he had a response to every attack on the PPP and every
allegation against him by his critics.

In an apparent reference to pressure on the government
from the Supreme Court to revive graft cases against him in
Switzerland, Zardari said: "The decision made by the people is
accepted in history, a judge`s verdict is not accepted".
He contended that the people were with him.

"If I am fighting today, if (Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani`s lawyer) Aitzaz Ahsan is fighting in the Supreme
Court, it is with the backing of the people.

"Pakistan is in the hands of the people, who can never be
wrong," he said.

Senior PPP leader Ahsan is defending Gilani in contempt
proceedings initiated by the apex court against the premier
for failing to reopen cases of alleged money laundering
against Zardari in Switzerland.

Gilani has said he would rather be jailed than violate the
Constitution by approaching Swiss authorities to reopen the
graft cases.

Zardari further contended that Gilani was being "punished"
for backing a move to create a new province in southern
Punjab.

"They are after Gilani not because he is loyal to me? he
talks of the Constitution.

"He wanted to separate south Punjab from the seat of
Lahore and that is his crime, and he is being punished for
it," he said.

While reiterating the PPP`s commitment to the policy of
political reconciliation, Zardari called on the opposition to
join hands with the government to help Pakistan overcome
challenges.

"Today, I again urge the opposition, let us work together
to steer the country out of internal and external challenges,"
he said.
He said there were some people who wanted to pitch the PPP
against the Baloch, Punjabis or Urdu-speaking Sindhis but the
party "will not fight against any community".

He said, "We will fight for the security and safety of the
land if there is any threat to its sovereignty and integrity".

In an apparent reference to cricketer-turned-politician
Imran Khan, Zardari said he welcomed new entrants in politics.

"We do not have any objection if the new parties take away
our leaders or their leaders come to our party," he added.
Zardari said the Supreme Court was expected to "correct
its mistakes" but unfortunately it had not taken any action
against culprits who killed PPP leaders.

All those responsible for the death of former premier
Benazir Bhutto are now hiding, he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 - 14:59

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