LAHORE - In an obvious reference to the country’s establishment, PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari has said that “Angles” will play a significant role in the coming elections – which he believes will throw a hung parliament, thereby paving the way for a government of national consensus.
PPP de-facto chief is also apprehensive of new religious parties’ participation in the July 25 polls which he considers would prove disastrous for the country.
And if no single party is in a position to form government after the polls, Zardari is willing to support the PML-N – though on his own terms this time.
The former president spoke his mind in a panel interview with The Nation and Nawa-i-Waqt at Bilawal House Lahore Sunday evening. The questioners included The Nation Editor Salim Bokhari, Nawa-i-Waqt Deputy Chief Reporter Syed Shoaib-ud-Din Ahmad and this scribe.
“ROs (Returning Officers) had manoeuvred the elections in 2013 and I had therefore dubbed those as ROs’ elections. Now, ‘Angles’ are going to assume the same [role] in 2018 elections,” he said, casting suspicions on the fairness of the polls.
He informed the interviewers that he had called a party meeting at Bilawal House Lahore on Tuesday (tomorrow) to chalk out party’s strategy to confront the ‘ongoing pre-poll rigging’ by the invisible forces.
“The meeting would ponder over complaints [of pre-poll rigging] coming from [all] the four provinces and then send a note to the Election Commission,” he said.
Asif Ali Zardari said his party had already written a letter to the ECP with the complaint that present FIA DG should be removed since his brother was contesting the elections.
On Shehbaz Sharif’s recent statement that no party could resolve country’s problems single-handedly and that a national government should be formed after the polls, PPP leader replied that actually he [Zardari] was the first who had floated this idea after the 2013 elections.
“But I think Shehbaz Sharif is saying so in anticipation of his party’s poor performance in the coming elections. His party would not be able to get the required number to form government on its own,” he added.
PPP leader was confident that no party will be able to form the government single-handedly after the polls. “It has to be a collation government”, he stressed.
Asked if the PPP would extend a lending hand to PML-N to form government, he replied in affirmative but hurried to add that this time around PPP would set its own terms and condition in exchange for cooperation.
“I am a politician and cannot erect walls to stay away from the political forces. If Shehbaz comes to me, he would have to support me this time,” Zardari observed.