ISLAMABAD: Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday claimed that former PM Nawaz Sharif wants to create ‘Greater Punjab’ to further his business interests, ARY News reported.
In an exclusive interview with ARY News, Zardari maintained that the former PM wants to make Greater Punjab (a term used for the proposed merger of Indian and Pakistani Punjabs) to further his business interests across the Pakistani and Indian part of the province.
When asked if he is talking about an actual “merger of the two Punjabs”, he claimed that he is talking about a business zone between the two Punjabs as Indian politician Lalu Prasad once told an American president that “we can do business with Nawaz”.
“I believe in it, when you make your forces weak, when you don’t keep a foreign minister, when you don’t hire someone to defend your interests in Washington, now who is benefiting from it? India,” said Zardari.
The former president said that Nawaz, despite having good terms with the Indian PM Modi, never spoke a word over the killing of innocent Kashmiris.
‘Nawaz still PM’
When asked if he sees Nawaz’s role in upcoming general elections, he maintained that “Nawaz Sharif is still PM, the PM himself says he (Nawaz) is PM”.
Zardari added that it is yet to be seen if Nawaz contests 2018 polls or not but there is no denying of his political role.
About the Panama verdict and Nawaz Sharif’s eventual disqualification, the PPP co-chairman said that he totally agrees with what the judges said and he knows why was Nawaz Sharif disqualified.
“I know, yes, he deserved this fate, I totally endorse the court’s verdict,” said Zardari when asked about the question Nawaz asked on his way back to Lahore “Mujhay Kyun Nikala”.
About Benazir Bhutto’s assassination
When asked what justice people will get when the late Benazir Bhutto could not get justice, he said that the government has arrested some suspects who conspired in Haqqania seminary but “You and I both understand where their roots and strings go”
He, however, maintained that the history has served justice in this case as her blood has nurtured the fruit of democracy and will continue to do so.
PTI only a threat in Central Punjab
Answering a question about the impression that PTI is overtaking PPP in Punjab, Zardari claimed that PTI is only gaining strength in Central Punjab, they have no strength in Sindh and Balochistan and soon they will be out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
About the future of PPP, he said that it is in the hands of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari.