Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Asif Ali Zardari said, “I am for the country and the parliament, and for nobody else. I had empowered this parliament by forming a committee headed by Raza Rabbani, to transfer all the powers back to the parliament from the President”.
He added, “I was outside the country, yet was updated with the scenario here, however I had to come back when the situation started worsening”.
The PPP chief said, “A doctor has to have first hand information of the disease, in order to treat it, so I came here to meet all the stake-holders”.
He said when Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had only 17 seats in the National Assembly and was encouraged for agitating against the then government; she had refused at once and decided to sit in the parliament.
When asked what he suggested to the prime minister, Asif Ali Zardari told, “I asked him to demonstrate patience, remain soft as much as he can and to resolve the issue politically”.
Asif Ali Zardari told Siraj ul Haq had inquired him what to do if one party does not agree upon anything, to which he answered, “Dialogue, dialogue and dialogue, for it will eventually cast its results”.
He said that democracy means never shutting the doors, while no one here can come up to the sacrifices, which PPP has rendered for democracy.
The former President said, “We had to face serious allegations and confrontation while in power, but we dealt with every issue politically”.
“I have held talks with Altaf Hussain, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. I urged all the political forces in the country to cool down the situation and satisfy all the parties, but not to let democracy derail”, he added.
Asif Ali Zardari also suggested that the two democratically elected governments (centre and KP government) should not challenge each other, especially by showing street power.
“When we have got this much political sense, why should we get engaged into petty things” he asked.
The PPP chief welcomed electoral reforms in the country and improvement of the system, but stressed all this should be done remaining within the constitution.
Returning to a question about what formula he suggested the government for, the ex-President replied, “Formulae are decided by the governments. I can only suggest the more they remain soft, the more it will be better, for I had myself completed 5 years’ tenure with affection towards everyone”.
When inquired about the “third umpire”, Zardari said, “We are the umpires and there is no third umpire, politicians themselves can resolve every issue and they will surely find a solution to the current crisis”.