Former President and opposition Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday asked his supporters to “march towards Islamabad” and topple Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government.
Addressing a rally at Garhi Khuda Baksh in Larkana on the 40th death anniversary of former prime minister and PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Zardari said it was time for the Khan’s government to go.
“We cannot give them more time. We have to march towards Islamabad to oust the government to save this country,” Zardari said.
He also accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government of trying to repeal the 18th Amendment, which took away powers from the President to dissolve an elected government and impose martial law.
“Before the elections, I told you that they want to repeal the 18th Amendment,” Zardari said.
“That’s why they are lodging cases against us. At the time, some friends believed me and some people made fun.”
“Now you have seen that the ‘selected’ prime minister’s (bubble) has burst. He said he does not have funds. If you can’t collect funds through the FBR (Federal Board of Revenue) then leave,” he added.
Zardari, his son and PPP co-chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, and his other close associates and business partners are facing money laundering and corruption charges from the National Accountability Bureau and the arrest of the former president and other key figures appears likely.
Earlier in the day, the Islamabad High Court issued a notice to Zardari on a petition seeking his disqualification as a lawmaker for hiding assets worth over USD 1 million including a flat in New York and bulletproof vehicles in the election nomination papers last year.
The petition was filed by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Khurram Sher Zaman and Usman Dar.
Zardari told the crowd that Khan as prime minister has sent Pakistan 50 years back with his economic policies.
“They don’t care about the poor. We can’t give them more time, we have to march to Islamabad for the sake of the country,” he added.
In his speech, Bilawal asked why justice for Bhutto’s “judicial murder” has not been served despite four decades having passed by.
Bhutto, the father-in-law of Zardari and father of Pakistan’s slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was hanged in jail on April 4, 1979 on court orders in a murder case.
“Today is the 40th year of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s judicial murder,” Bilawal said.
“This is a tragic chapter of history. This day is asking a question from this country: why was the protector of poor public murdered? He opened the way for 90,000 prisoners to return home, he turned this country into an atomic power. Who signed his death warrant? That question is still awaiting an answer.
“The (former) president submitted a request eight years ago that we should get answers for the murder of our founder. Why do the scales of justice tip one side when it comes to us (Bhuttos)?” he asked.
Bilawal accused Khan and his ministers of becoming arrogant after coming into power.
He warned the government that if any attempt was made to repeal the 18th Amendment his party would end the government.
He also claimed that the prime minister didn’t care about Sindh province, which is governed by the PPP.