Former president says it is high time to fix FATA’s fate
–Says PPP will support FATA reforms regardless of JUI-F’s opposition
PESHAWAR: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari lambasted the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, saying the ruling party has ruined the economy and pushed the country to the peripheries of bankruptcy.
Talking to reporters in Peshawar, the former president said the PML-N looted the country whenever it came into power. There must be someone responsible for the state of the economy, he said while referring to the PML-N’s poor economic performance.
Zardari said the PPP government had worked for the welfare of people when in power, but the PML-N has looted the country at cost of the masses, adding that the PPP will provide jobs to people if it comes into power again. He listed the achievements of his government and said that the PPP had served Sindh better than the PML-N has served the country during its rule.
Commenting on the ruling party’s abysmal performance in the NA-120 constituency of Lahore, he said Nawaz Sharif remained indifferent to his constituency for four years and only remembered to initiate development works in the area ahead of the NA-120 by-polls. “Things got done overnight, when Maryam visited the constituency while campaigning for the by-election,” he said.
It may be mentioned here that Begum Kulsoom Nawaz won the NA-120 seat that fell vacant following the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Supreme Court’s July 28 Panama case judgment. The PML-N reportedly started developments works in the area to woo people into voting Kulsoom Nawaz.
Replying to a query, Zardari said: “If Nawaz Sharif had any doubts regarding his disqualification then why did he leave the PM House.” Criticising the constant criticism of judiciary by the N-League, he said that PPP didn’t blow things out of proportion when its prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was sacked by the court, adding that the transition of power was smooth.
HIGH TIME TO MERGE FATA
Moreover, Zardari said that if the PPP forms a government in the 2018 general elections, the party will merge Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said during the last tenure of the PPP, conditions were not favourable for the merger of FATA because of war on terror, but now there is no hurdle to the merger as things are pretty much calm now.
If we come into power “we will declare it a province, and once its writ is established, we will develop roads and the insurgency in the area will be finished”.
The former president said the PPP government will create a special war package for KP and will satisfy the people of FATA by bringing rehabilitation and development to the area.
Furthermore he said, “My party will continue to support FATA reforms irrespective of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) stance.”
The JUI-F chief earlier claimed that certain elements, acting at the behest of the United States, were trying to create unrest in the region by clamouring about FATA reforms. He said the talk of FATA reforms was just political point scoring and it had nothing to do with the masses.
Taking a jibe at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Zardari said Imran Khan is divorced from reality and he is “happy in his own little world”. However, Zardari lauded KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for being “most amiable person compared to Imran”.