Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that the opposition was capable of creating forward blocs in the Punjab government but was in no hurry.
In an exclusive interview with veteran journalist and Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami on Channel 92’s programme ‘Ho Kya Raha Hai?’, Zardari said that the government should be given at least six months.
He said that the incumbent government has failed at tax collection and inflation is rising.
“Imran Khan does not know anything about economy. He is similar to Shaukat Aziz in many ways but Shaukat at least knew a thing or two about economy,” he said. The problem with Imran Khan is that he tries to score a sixer on every ball but everyone knows that you cannot succeed at every shot, he added.
Responding to a question regarding the PM’s successful trips to Saudi Arabia and China, Zardari said that he did not go of his own accord but was sent by someone to gather money for the country. “Imran is just a puppet and everything he does is on someone else’s dictation,” he added.
“I disagree with a lot of policies of the current prime minister. He does not even know anything about the lawmakers he sits with. Sheikh Rasheed, for instance, will be responsible for his government’s failure,” he said, adding that Imran Khan does not have any political ideas or any understanding of governance. He also said that soon there will be new elections in the country but he could not tell the exact date.
Zardari further said that the government ministers are citing the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in their speeches just to score points.
Talking about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said that Nawaz did not take the House seriously and paved the way for Imran to rise to power.
When Arif Nizami asked him about the claims Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif used to make in the past about dragging him on the streets, he said that the language used in political rallies is not always literal and everyone knows that this cannot happen in real life.
Speaking about the economy, he said that the government should focus on empowering the businessmen because if they are strong, the economy would be strong. “I am not in favour of bringing foreign investors to the country because if they invest $1, they take back $10,” he said, adding that back in Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) tenure, the stock exchange was at 35,000 points. We brought the imports down to 27 per cent, he further said.
Talking about the fake accounts case against him and the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision of transferring the case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Zardari said that the case was related to Sindh and the provincial institutions should investigate it. “If they want to transfer it to NAB, they should transfer it to NAB Karachi,” he said. Zardari further said that he would face all charges in the court. “I believe that until the cases are decided, people should be granted bail by the courts,” he said.
Zardari further talked about the politics of his party and said that his party had a history of sacrifices and strong opposition in the face of dictatorship. “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto fought against Ayub Khan’s martial law. We opposed the military courts on a principled stance,” Zardari said.