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Will hold new elections after electoral reforms: Asif Zardari

PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari addresses a press conference in Karachi. — Geo.tv/screengrab 

ISLAMABAD: PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said that the government will hold general elections in the country after introducing electoral reforms.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Zardari said: “Electoral and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reforms are included in our game plan.”

Referring to the huge economic challenges being faced by the country, the PPP co-chairman called for “out of the box” solutions to fix Pakistan’s economy. He maintained that the new government will take some time to control the situation.

Asif Zardari said that the nation will have to face problems until the IMF programme is finalised.

Electoral reforms will take three to four months, he said, adding that the government will not go for elections without them.

“We do not want any selected person to come into power again”, he said, adding that he has persuaded PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif over the electoral reforms ahead of the elections.

He said the government will take all the collation parties on board ahead of making decisions.

Reacting to the PTI Chairman Imran’s criticism of the army chief over his apolitical role, Zardari asked: “Should Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa be saluted for [keeping] the army apolitical or shall he be criticised?”

He maintained that the government will try “they” remain apolitical and neutral in the future.

Responding to a question, the PPP leader said the government will not tolerate criticism against the army at any cost and vowed to restore bureaucracy in the country.

He lashed out at Imran Khan for hurling allegations against the leaders of the ruling collation and dubbing them “Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq.”

Reacting to the diplomatic cable and the alleged conspiracy attached to it, Zardari said: “They drafted the communique themselves. There could be a diplomatic cable but probably it will not be sent by any state and the PTI should show proof if they have any.”

The PPP co-chairman also criticised the former regime’s economic policies and said the incumbent government will have to make its own policies to put the country on the track to progress and prosperity.

Zardari said that in Pakistan, there has always been a perception that conspiracies were being hatched against the country. “That is, however, not always the case.”

Berating the former prime minister, the PPP co-chairman asked: “What will PTI Chairman Imran Khan do by holding the elections soon. What has he done in the last four years for the nation?”

“People in Islamabad have a mindset that no one gets the votes in Sindh except PPP,” said Zardari, adding that Khan should contest the elections in Sindh and see how many votes he gets.

He further said that Khan has misled overseas Pakistanis through his rhetoric. “They [overseas Pakistanis] do not know the ground realities here,” he added.

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