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‘If attempts are made to agitate us then we’ll respond accordingly’

ISLAMABAD: Former President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said that he was not interested in coming into power but only wanted to serve the masses of the country.

Speaking to party workers and office bearers belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA here, he said when the ‘PPP moves it jolts all others’, adding that mid-term elections would have been held if his party put its weight behind Imran Khan’s PTI led protests against the government last year.

“We are watching the political game, political moves and waiting for the right time to arrive… let those play to whom we provided a bat and ball,” said the former president.

“Let them put the economy back on track… it will be good if they succeed, but if they don’t then those provoking us must understand that if I stand up then not only Sindh but every town from Khyber to Karachi would be shut.”

Commenting on former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Zardari said that the former president, who he said still acts like a commando, cannot even spend three months in a Pakistani jail.

“Musharraf does not know how many threats Pakistan is facing currently, but I do,” he remarked.

He warned against character assassination of his party, saying if they started doing the same then no one would be spared including army generals. “Army is our institutions,” he added.

Zardari went on to say that army chiefs come and go every three years but the political leadership is here to stay. “I don’t want the national institutions to weaken,” he added.

“If attempts are made to agitate us then we’ll respond accordingly,” said the aggressive looking PPP co-chairman.

Addressing the party workers, he said that they had to learn a lot and he had to teach them.

“At the time of BB’s [former prime minister Benazir Bhutto] martyrdom, I said Pakistan khappay (long live Pakistan)… but, there’s a limit to everything,” he concluded.

PPP Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was also present on the occasion.

News courtesy: The News
Read more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-188229-If-attempts-are-made-to-agitate-us-then-well-respond-accordingly

Musharraf was the main threat to Benazir’s safety – Toronto Star Editorial

Who killed Bhutto?

Who orchestrated the murder of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s brave champion of rule by the people, during her campaign in 2007 to restore democracy after years of military rule? We may never know. Suspicion pointed to Pakistani jihadists, Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

But Bhutto believed that former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf ” was the main threat to her safety,” a United Nations probe has just reported. Some in the Musharraf-era elite “saw her return to an active political life in Pakistan as a threat to their power.” Whatever the truth, the regime hd much to answer for.

Musharraf gave Bhutto “fatally insufficient  and ineffective” security, but provided “strngent” protection for leaders who favoured him, the UN panel found. His intelligence agents and officials then “severely hampered” the probe of her death. Police feared “involvement by the intelligence agencies,” bungled the probe and ruled out the “possibility of involvement by elements of the Establishment.”

There was “little to no focus on investigating those further up the hierarchy in the planning, financing and execution” of the murder. This UN post-mortem invites Pakistani to reflect on how far they have come in three years, and on where they need to go. The panel urged President Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto’s widower, to hold a “credible” probe to end impunity for political crimes. He agreed. But many Pakistanis are skeptical.

Certainly, it isn’t a task for the faint-hearted. And conditions. And conditions are not ideal. Pakistan is battling a domestic insurgecy and grinding poverty. Relations with India are still fraught. Terrorists have their eyes on the country’s nuclear arsenal. In a world of instability and woe, the military and security services’ stock is bound to be high.

But as the UN report makes clear, Bhutto believed that strengthening democracy, not the self-seleced military/ security elite, is best guarantor of better days. For her, it was an idea worth dying for.

Courtesy: Daily Toronto Star, Monday, April 19, 2010, page A-16.