KARACHI: Terming the arrest of his close aide near his home in Nawabshah a “message”, Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on Monday denied that he made a tacit deal with the establishment.
“Ismail [Dahiri] would not have been arrested if I had made a deal with someone. Rather arrests would have been made on my instructions [if I had a deal],” said Mr Zardari in an interview with Geo News.
The former adviser to the chief minister and a close aide to Mr Zardari, Mr Dahiri, had been arrested at his house by the personnel of paramilitary force, Pakistan Rangers, a few days ago.
“Someone has shown [his] love by arresting him in my hometown,” Mr Zardari said, adding that every such act was actually a message.
About the upcoming polls, he said that “whoever” won the July 25 election would have to talk to the PPP to form the next government.
He believed that independent candidates who had left the PPP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, would win many seats in Punjab.
Asked about any recent meeting with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, Mr Zardari said he had not met him as the latter opted to cancel a scheduled meeting after inviting him several months ago.
Responding to PTI chief Imran Khan’s criticism directed at him, he said it was the former’s right to criticise him. “I believe in evolution, not revolution. He [Mr Khan] said he did not want to sit with me. He himself has shut all doors,” said the PPP co-chairman.
He made it clear that there was no constitutional justification to delay the July 25 polls.
Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2018