It’s time for election, not accountability: Zardari


LAHORE : Rejecting all allegations leveled against him, former president Asif Ali Zardari has said, “I was sent a notice of 1.5 billion rupees. But it has been hyped up to 35 billion rupees.”

In an exclusive interview with a private television channel ahead of a general election on July 25, the PPP leader suggested it “isn’t the time” to hold politicians accountable. “This is not the time for accountability… to hold politicians accountability. It s election time.”

The PPP leader also ruled out that his party plans to boycott elections. “Election boycott is no solution to the prevailing issues. People s Party won t boycott elections,” he said.

Zardari said opposition has to exist for a government to function in a democractic setup, hinting at forming an alliance to create a coalition government in case a hung parliament emerges.

“Whoever forms government (after July 25) has to engage (the) People s Party,” he added. “Whatever may be the case, we won t let democracy derail.”

Asked about the court ruling that sentenced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to 11 years in prison, Zardari said circumstances will decide the fate of the politics of the PML-N supremo.

“We once saved Nawaz Sharif. He had support even then. We didn t.”

Dismissing all corruption references against him, the former president expressed reservation over the inclusion of military men in joint investigation teams.

“I believe no JIT should have anyone nominated by the military. JITs formed against me have had army men,” he said.

Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and their associates are facing money laundering cases.

Authorities say the former president and his aides allegedly sent Rs35 billion abroad through fake accounts. Their names have been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

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