NEW YORK: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has said that he would not be happy if NAB begins investigations in Punjab after Sindh. “It would amount to slapping someone in return of a slap you have just received,” he said.
He was talking to senior journalist, Sohail Warraich, in an exclusive interview to Geo News on Tuesday.
Talking about NAB he said that in the Charter of Democracy both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan People’s Party had decided to amend the law, and the salaries of NAB employees had even been blocked, but later Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had a change of heart.
Asked why he had left Pakistan just as the NAB began arresting government officials on charges of corruption he said, “I was ill. I am still getting treatment, and will be back when my health gets better.”
On the arrest of Uzair Baloch and its implications, he said, “Who is ‘he’?” He said he faced many allegations ranging from the murder of Murtaza Bhutto to robbing a bank, but he won all these cases in courts. He said for the last 27 years, accountability of only Zardari has been carried out. He said everybody including Musharraf should face accountability.
Talking about Dr Asim Hussain, he said they were childhood friends. “I called him ‘hare’. I was the one who motivated him to leave Nazimabad and shift to Defence. His arrest is only a tactic to pressurize the PPP.”
About the dangers Sindh government may face in the future, he said after the 18th Amendment, neither Sindh Assembly could be dissolved nor could governor rule be invoked. He said the only democratic way to dent the government is the resolution of lack of confidence, which the opposition is welcomed of bringing in whenever it has power.
He said he wanted to change government in Balochistan but could not succeed. He said credit for improving Karachi situation goes both to the provincial government and Rangers. He said they had a coalition government and were not able to launch such an operation as is going on today.
He said that the office of the president should be abolished as it was a burden on the national exchequer. “There is no need for 1,500-strong staff of the Presidency.”
Hinting at Mustafa Kamal’s call for a presidential form of government, he said, “People back presidential system without understanding it as there will be no power of the Parliament in that system.”