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Asif Zardari lashes out at PML-N for poor governance

24 February, 2018

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PPP Co-Chairman Asif Zardari, speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Friday, lashed out at the PML-N for poor governance, saying that the incumbent administration had failed to provide any province with its "due share".

"They [PML-N administration] have only given funds to Lahore. I went to Tonsa Sharif recently and I saw the condition of its roads. Even the inner city of Lahore is in a shambles. They have only spent money on railroads and roads that lead to their [Sharifs'] own lands," he said.

Defending PPP's loss in last year's by-election in NA-120 and earlier this month in Lodhran, both of which were won by the PML-N, the former president accused the ruling party of spending billions of rupees on their campaigns in order to grab votes.

"Getting votes is easier if your party is in power," he said. "Furthermore, the administration [police] there is also their [PML-N's] own. Half of Punjab's politics is run by the SHOs (station house officer)."

He, however, admitted that PPP's performance "might not have been up to the mark" and said that the party has formed new "election rules" as well as a manifesto.

Speaking on recent developments, he termed Khawaja Asif an "unsuitable" foreign minister while commenting on reports that Pakistan would be placed on the Financial Action Task Force's terror-financing watchlist.

He later handed over the microphone to PPP Senator Saleem Mandviwala to brief the media over the party's new agenda. Mandviwalla said that the party had given importance to the "social sector and the layman" for the upcoming elections.

The details, Mandviwala said, would be released by the party chairman.

Returned the mic, Zardari proceeded to praise the institutions of the state, denouncing Nawaz's constant insinuations that the former premier is being targeted by the judiciary and the military.

Zardari claimed that it was only Nawaz who had a problem with the institutions of the country. "For the first time, perhaps, the institutions of the state are completely neutral," he said.

He also lauded Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's initiative to fence the Pak-Afghan border and hoped that relations with Afghanistan would improve in future.

The former president also defended the government's decision to send troops to Saudi Arabia — contradicting his party's senators in doing so — saying that he could not oppose the decision because he "could not let down the custodian of the Holy Kaaba".

He added that "1,600 soldiers could not win a war, they can only train people".

He also commented on the upcoming Senate elections, saying that unlike the candidates nominated by other parties, PPP had issued tickets to "political people" who had "contacts" in their respective constituencies.

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