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Judges have also said ‘go Nawaz go’: Zardari

Says PM will have to go now; Imran Khan has no lineal linkage with Pakhtuns but with Tiger Niazi

MARDAN: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would have to go after the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) in the Panama Papers case.

Addressing a huge public meeting at the Railway Ground in Mardan, he said that the judges of the Supreme Court didn't declare the prime minister innocent in the Panama Papers case. "The judges had also stated "Go Nawaz Go", he remarked.

Zardari said the SC had not given a clean chit to the prime minister, but still the supporters of his party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, distributed sweets to celebrate the verdict. "Nawaz Sharif has not read books. If he had read books written by a judge, he would have been able to understand what the judges have stated," he added.

PPP provincial president Humayun Khan and former federal minister Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, who recently joined the PPP, also addressed the meeting. Former deputy speaker of the National Assembly Nawaz Khokhar, Senator Khanzada Khan, former Senate chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar, Arbab Alamgir, Asma Alamgir, Najmuddin Khan, Liaquat Shabab, Agha Muhammad Ali who is president of PPP, Islamabad, former minister Hayatullah Durrani, Akhunzada Chatan, Nighat Orakzai and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

A large number of PPP workers wearing tri-coloured party caps and carrying party flags attended the public meeting. It was termed a show of strength by Khwaja Muhammad Khan Hoti, who belongs to the landowning Hoti family and had recently rejoined the party.

The PPP activists chanted slogans in favour of the party and its leadership throughout the day and marched on the main road to celebrate the arrival of Zardari, who was on a rare visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Big banners and posters of Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is the PPP chairman, as well as the central and provincial leaders, were displayed on almost all the main roads and venue of the meeting in Mardan which, in the past was referred to as 'mini-Larkana' due to the strong support that the party enjoyed in the district.

Zardari said that in the court verdict of Panama Papers case not a single judge had stated that Nawaz Sharif was innocent. He predicted that soon the prime minister would have to go and the general election would be announced. On this occasion, Zardari also raised the slogan "Go Nawaz Sharif Go". He said the previous PPP-led federal government hoisted Pakistan's flag in the Malakand division by conducting a military operation against the militants there as well as the tribal areas.

Zardari recalled that his government gave identity to the Pakhtuns by renaming the North West Frontier Province as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "We granted provincial autonomy to the smaller units of the Federation," he reminded.

He maintained that his party gave the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to the province. "The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was also our brainchild," he asserted.

"We established the university in Mardan, but some other people take credit for it. The PPP-led federal government provided funds to the university in Mardan," he claimed. Zardari criticised Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and said that he claimed to be a Pakhtun, but could neither speak Pashto nor was aware of Pakhtunwali.

He said that Imran Khan termed himself a Khan but had no lineal linkage with Pakhtuns but with ‘Tiger Niazi’. He came down hard on the federal government for blocking the Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) of thousands of Pakhtuns and urged it to immediately unblock the CNICs.

He demanded immediate merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  "If the PPP is voted to power, we will provide jobs to the people and increase the salaries of government employees," he said. He hoped that his party would form the next government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


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