ISLAMABAD: Former President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said the National Reconciliation Ordinance brought back democracy, Nawaz and elections back to Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference in the country’s capital late Tuesday, the Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party said his rivals framed him.
“Twelve cases were lodged against me in Ghulam Ishaq’s tenure,” he said. “I fought each one of them while I was imprisoned.”
Zardari claimed that each case against him was politically motivated.
“I won all the cases formed against me but they [political rivals] dragged them for long durations because they feared not doing so would cost them their jobs,” he said.
The PPP leader, who was acquitted last week by an accountability court in what was the final corruption reference still pending against him, said he was put behind bars under MPO.
We are not scared of judiciary; Zardari said and added he had won all the cases filed against him.
I had all the powers for five years as president, which I surrendered voluntarily.
Speaking about NAB, he said that the anti-graft watchdog is used to pick poor people and release against bribe.We had never taken political revenge from our rivals as there was no political prisoner during the tenure of previous PPP government.
The former president claimed that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s son, Murtaza, was ‘martyred,’ as a move to topple Benazir Bhutto’s government.
“Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) was used as a premise to imprison me,” Zardari claimed, adding that he unfairly imprisoned for a prolonged period of time.
He continued to say that his party never engaged in corrupt practices and the PPP never held any political prisoners.
“My party never engaged in seeking revenge,” he said.
Talking about the National Accountability Bureau, Zardari said the organization has a different mindset. “NAB blackmails the ordinary Joe and accepts bribes to give them a clear chit,” the former president claimed.
He further said that he was never accused of wrongdoings in his five- year tenure of holding office because he never held on to power and authority.
“Engaging in power games only result in imprisonment and death sentences,” Zardari claimed.
Referring to the recent disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office, he said Benazir was twice removed from the PM house but a rally against the decisions was never organised by the PPP. Ex-President pushed the matter of constitutional amendment in articles 62 and 63 to next parliament saying that public representatives after the 2018 general elections will have the mandate to do so.
He predicted that there will be a higher number of independent candidates to contest the polls this time.
Talking about NRO, he said electoral reforms had been carried out in the pact through which the return of Nawaz Sharif was made possible.