Pakistan President Zardari ready for 'any situation', stays on in Karachi



Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was not going anywhere and was ready to face "any situation", his spokesperson has said, adding that he was extending his stay in Karachi from where he would monitor political developments. Zardari has also reiterated that general elections would be held on time.

Denying reports of Zardari planning to leave for Dubai to avoid the uncertain political situation in the country, his spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said the president has reiterated government's resolve that elections will be held on time and not be delayed in any case, Dawn News reported.

"He is not going anywhere and is ready to face any situation," Babar said, adding the president preferred to monitor fast changing political developments in Islamabad while sitting in Bilawal House, Karachi, for next few days despite the fact that he has been staying there for almost a month.

The spokesperson said the overstay in Karachi had nothing to do with Pakistani-born Canadian cleric Tahirul Qadri.

"The president will follow his own schedule. Qadri's presence in Islamabad or anywhere else is not a factor in the determination of president's schedule," he said.

Qadri and thousands of his followers are sitting near parliament house for "change in the present electoral system and now dissolution of federal and provincial governments".

Babar said the president was closely watching Qadri's protest programme and developments following the Supreme Court ordering the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Zardari believes that there are two aspects of the Supreme Court's order - one is legal and the other is political, he said.

"As far as the legal aspect is concerned, Law Minister Farooq Naek has informed the president about the whole situation and repercussions of the Supreme Court's order and about its political fallout, the president will soon consult coalition partners," the spokesperson said.

’ IANS