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I was pressured to grant immunity to Davis: Qureshi

16 November, 2011

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MULTAN: Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday he had resigned from the position of foreign minister because he was forced by President Asif Ali Zardari to grant diplomatic immunity to US national Raymond Davis.

Talking to the media at the Multan airport, he said the Raymond Davis incident had taken place on January 27 and he had resigned on January 30 in the presence of President Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. About joining the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), he said he would announce his political plans at a rally in Ghotki on November 27.

Responding to criticism from the PPP, he said he would not deny that his father did indeed have an association with General Ziaul Haq. "Some PPP leaders got emotional and also spoke about me and Ziaul Haq. They should not forget that it was under a military dictator that [Prime Minister Yusuf Raza] Gilani took oath as railways minister," he added.

The former foreign minister said: "The [PPP] people think that they are smarter than Benazir. Their political vision is not even equal to her shoes."

Qureshi said he had himself said he had supported Nawaz Sharif in the past and that he still maintained 'excellent' relations with the former premier. "I met him in the past and will meet him tomorrow if he asks me to," he said, adding that he was going to Dubai to speak at a think tank and would meet Nawaz Sharif after his return. "I believe in transparency and transparent politics," Qureshi said, adding: "Now is not the time to save your seat but to save Pakistan".

The former foreign minister lashed out at the PPP leadership and said neither Zardari nor Gilani had solutions to Pakistan's external and internal problems. "They do not have the substance or intellectual depth to help the country solve its problems," he added.


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