PPP co-chair, Asif Ali Zardari, said as of Wednesday that elections will take place after the coalition government implements electoral reforms and amends National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws.
“We have to change and improve the laws and then we have to go to the elections,” Zardari said at a press conference in Karachi.
He said he consulted with Mian Nawaz Sharif and “made him understand as soon as our reforms and low targets were completed”. [we can go to polls]”.
The former president said the coalition government had “no problem” with the voting rights and representation of Pakistanis abroad, adding that discussions could lead to a majority of seats.
When asked about the possibility of holding an election before November, Zardari said in an interview with Defense Minister Kawaza Asif that “the PML-N leader has his own thoughts and has no choice but to listen to the direction of the party.”
“The PML-N decided with me until electoral reform was done. [talk] About the appointment of a new Army Chief of Staff,” he said. He added that if electoral reforms were introduced, economic conditions improved, and Congress decided it was time to hold an election, a vote could be held.
When asked if he should pay tribute to Army Chief of Staff Camar Javed Bazwa or if he would “fight” with him, he said the military was “apolitical” for the first time.
“It’s good to know that the military can remain neutral,” Zardari said of the no-confidence vote that led to the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said he hopes the military will continue to be “apolitical” and that any problems that arise will be resolved by national representatives.
When asked about Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed, former ISI Director and current commander of the Peshawar Corps, Zardari replied, “The poor man is excluded.”
Speaking of the judiciary, which has been criticized by PTI Chairman Imran, he said he had never campaigned against it.
“[Former military ruler] Pervez Musharraf put me in jail for 5 years but we didn’t attack his house and I said I want to see Musharraf come alive internationally.
“I think we should let the institutions do the work and help them.”
He argued that the bureaucracy was destroyed during the PTI government’s tenure and that relations with other countries “didn’t exist”, which the current government will try to improve.
He blamed Imran for branding his opponents as Mir Jafars and Mir Sadiqs. “It is us, not him, who can run the country. His friends left him because he failed to deliver on his political promises.”
In answering the question, Zardari said he had not read any cable that Imran claimed contained evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” to oust him.
“I don’t believe in any. [US] State Department officials are sufficiently irresponsible. [say] what you read to me There is no such thing. He (Im Ran) created a political myth. What America Needs [to interfere]?”
The former president said Pakistan should revise its policy and portray Pakistan as a safe haven for the international community to consider as a partner.
While detailing the problems facing the economy, the former president said the country would hold a dialogue because oil is expensive. Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif has good relations with Saudi Arabia’s ruling family, he said.
Zardari said the country will continue to face difficulties until the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program normalizes.
He said there are many “out-of-the-box thinking processes”, including State Life Insurance Corporation. “This is an investment of over 100 billion rupees, of which 26% are given to high-performing business houses and 26% are floating. [of its shares] at the mart. At least 8 to 10 billion won will be received,” he said.
All power lines should also be privatized, he said.
Zardari said the company wants to engage with a PPP that provides an out-of-the-box solution.
He claimed that Pakistanis abroad were “lost” by the previous government and had no idea about the heat and inflation prevailing in Pakistan.
In response to the question, Zardari advised Imran to draw up an economic charter, but said the “chosen” prime minister at the time did not understand it and the rupee was weak.