Pakistan

‘Bilawal and I will contest elections’: Zardari reveals surprise

LARKANA: Former president and co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari announced on Tuesday that he along with party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will be contesting elections to be a part of the parliament.

The PPP co-chairman made his first major appearance after returning from a year and a half self-imposed exile on Tuesday on the ninth death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto.

Speaking at the charged gathering of PPP workers and supporters, Zardari said, “Bilawal and I are going to contest elections and enter in the same parliament.”

 

“I will contest in place of my sister, Faryal Talpur and Bilawal will stand from Larkana on Ayaz Soomro’s seat,” Zardari added.

In a clear reference to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Zardari said, “It is a pity that you seem to have forgotten all your promises today”.

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“We will not spare this Mughal emperor now,” said PPP co-chairman while strongly criticising Nawaz Sharif.

The former president said that he or any member of his party was not afraid of courts.

“Mian Sahab [PM Sharif] you ruined my democracy,” said Zardari and added that “By handing over democracy to you, we thought you will keep it sacred but you did not.”

He said that “for democracy, you have to give sacrifices,” and recalled that even Benazir Bhutto was assassinated PPP chanted “Long Live Pakistan.”

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Thousands of PPP workers and supporters in caravans reached Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Naudero and Larkana from different parts of the country to pay their tributes to their leader.

Security in and around the stage, the mausoleum and near the main parking area in Naudero was beefed up with special commandos and police officials deployed along the roads and main entrance points.

Reception camps were established. Party leaders and workers started reaching Garhi Khuda Bakhsh from Monday afternoon. The entire leadership of PPP including Qamar Zaman Kaira and Nisar Khuhro was present in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.

Zardari returned to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last Friday amid fanfare.

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