Dialogue, dialogue and dialogue, Zardari to Nawaz

Ex-president says PPP not to support minus-one formula

LAHORE – Former president and co-chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari categorically said on Saturday that his party will not support 'minus one’ formula at all and said that his party will extend every possible efforts to uphold democracy in Pakistan.

Talking to journalists at the Allama Iqbal International Airport after meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq and PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Zardari said that his party would not let democracy be derailed.

He said that he urged prime minister to resolve the current political crisis through dialogue. “I told PM Nawaz Sharif dialogue, dialogue and dialogue as democracy means never shutting the door,” he said. “I have met prime minister and requested him to have patience and handle everything politically. Everything has to be handled politically,” he said.

He said it was their effort to get out of the present crisis and said the politicians can find solution of every problem by sitting together. Zardari advised everyone to continue the dialogue process to at least bring down hostility in the crisis. He said he told the prime minister that a strong tree bends more and he would be better to work with others through love and affection.

He said they were all one and there was no third umpire. “If we talk about the third umpire, things would go far away. In my view, we all are umpires and there is no third umpire,” he said when asked to comment on Imran Khan's speech. He said that Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri may have grievances but that could be addressed through talks.

“I accept that system should be strengthened. Election reforms should be made. We should handle these issues politically. This was my objective to come to Lahore to meet prime minister and other parties to realise the situation,” he said. The former president made it abundantly clear that he was not with anybody but with Pakistan.

He said the parliamentary parties should not challenge an elected government through street power and they should work to strengthen the parliament. In this connection, Zardari said he voluntarily surrendered the powers of the president to the parliament. He said the PTI has entered the politics and everyone should welcome it. He said the party has also the right to resign from the assembly.

During PPP's five year government, abusive language was used but they would play the role of a responsible opposition and would never use such language, he said.

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