Zardari rules out possibility of contesting polls ‘in alliance with PDM’

VEHARI (Agencies): As rumours regarding differences between Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) intensify, former president Asif Ali Zardari — who is also the co-chairman of the party — ruled out the possibility of contesting the next elections for an alliance with the ruling coalition.
Addressing a press conference in Vehari, the party co-chairman made it clear that the PPP would contest the next elections on the “arrow” symbol and not for an alliance with the ruling PDM. “We are not a part of the PDM, but we are their partners in the government,” the PPP stalwart said ahead of the general polls in Punjab — which are scheduled to be held on April 30.
Zardari also ruled out talks with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and said that the former prime minister is not a politician. In response to a question about the police’s attempt to arrest the PTI chief and whether he was consulted, Zardari said: “It is the prerogative of the interior minister… why would he consult me?”
PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had also warned the centre of quitting ministries if the promises made to flood affectees in Sindh about financial assistance are not fulfilled. “The promises to flood victims are needed to be fulfilled otherwise it will be difficult for us to hold our [federal] ministries,” Bilawal said during an event in Karachi.
Expressing his severe concerns and regret, the PPP leader said that the promises made to the flood affectees by the federal government could not be fulfilled. The flood-hit community is going through a difficult time amid rising inflation in the country, he added. The centre, he further said, should give priority to the flood affectees. “If the federal government or Prime Minister [Shehbaz] made promises, then they need to be fulfilled.
According to the PPP chairman, the ruling party in Sindh would raise the issue in the National Assembly as well as before the prime minister. He also expressed hope that their concerns would be redressed by the federal government.
Meanwhile, Senator Raza Rabbani, a senior PPP leader, underscored similarities between the PDM-led incumbent government and the PTI regime — which the sitting rulers had vehemently opposed. In a press release, the ex-Senate chairman — whose party is in the ruling alliance — said: “It seems be it the PTI or present governments want azadi [freedom] from Parliament and the Constitution, 1973.”
The country is witnessing its worst economic turmoil, with the rupee at an all-time low, the foreign exchange reserves plunging almost every other week, and to top it off, a new wave of terrorism has also hit Pakistan. In light of ongoing issues, Rabbani has also sought clarifications from the government as, according to him, the rulers keep avoiding parliament.
The senator also said parliament needs to be taken into confidence over the “dragging of the feet by the IMF [International Monetary Fund] on signing the agreement and reluctance of friendly countries, except China, to help sans the IMF”.