Days after former president Asif Ali Zardari’s remarks in joint parliament session which were dubbed as ‘anti-Muhajir’ by some quarters, his spokesperson issued a statement, saying it was disheartening to see the former president’s statement “distorted” by some politicians to “tarnish” his image.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Zardari had said that it was the people of Sindh and Bangladesh who had “made Pakistan” and that those who migrated from India had no contribution towards the Pakistan Movement.
“Sindh and Bangladesh made Pakistan, you did not make Pakistan. You just migrated here. You were just driven from there [India] and ran here to seek refuge. We gave you refuge and we welcome you to stay here, you have a right,” Zardari had said, addressing Prime Minister Imran Khan only as “select”.
The statement received backlash from Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) lawmaker, who termed it an insult to the Urdu-speaking community.
MQM convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui had taken exception to Zardari’s comments during the National Assembly session on Thursday, pointing out that in his speech, the former president had passed some objectionable remarks against the Urdu-speaking people known as Muhajirs.
In a statement, the PPP leader’s spokesperson, Aamir Fida Paracha, said that some “elements” were alleging that the remarks made by Zardari were derogatory towards those who migrated to Pakistan at the time of partition.
Paracha said that it was “most unfortunate that some elements were deliberately distorting the remarks of the ex-president by putting their own words into his mouth to create dissensions and tarnish the image of the party [PPP] and the former president”.
He said that the former head of state had “never uttered derogatory remarks about any section of society”, adding that he had not intended to hurt anyone’s sentiments.
“Those who maliciously took the former president’s comments out of context should be ashamed of themselves,” the statement concluded.