Sharif, Zardari vow democratic system

April 18, 2014 - 10:02:08 am

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari are committed to moving forward jointly for the sixth major success of the democratic system in the last six years.

Six months ago, Sharif hosted a farewell party for the outgoing president Asif Ali Zardari at the Prime Minister’s House. Zardari made a brief speech in the presence of the then military leadership and assured Sharif that he will not play any dirty political games against the PML-N government for the next five years.

He fulfilled his promise. He was standing behind Sharif yesterday in Islamabad to assure his full support for the democratic system against any non-democratic adventure. No doubt, government sources tried to downplay tense relations between the civilian and non-civilian forces but Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan admitted this tension publicly a few days ago and it is not a secret why Zardari met Sharif yesterday.

It was Zardari who said on December 27, 2013 in Larkana that he would not allow the “billa” to run away from Pakistan. Powerful supporters of Musharraf disliked this statement and they conveyed displeasure to Zardari through different channels but he never changed his position.

At that time, many PPP leaders were expecting that the PML-N government would not dare start a treason trial of former president Pervez Musharraf. When the trial started, PPP leaders suggested to Zardari that he should stay away from it but he told them that the trial was a must for the rule of law and stability of the system.

He told his party leaders that he would not leave Sharif alone and in these difficult times all the major political forces must stand behind the democratic government. The Sharif government started facing problems from some seen and unseen hands when Musharraf was summoned by the special court in the treason case.

Zardari was not ready to play the role of a silent spectator. He called Sharif many times and assured him of his support.

He came to Rawalpindi and attended the proceedings of a NAB court. He gave a message that a former civilian president was ready to appear in a court but the former military dictator refused to do so. Musharraf was forced to appear in the special court. Sharif and Zardari are old political rivals but resolved their differences in the Karachi jail after the 1999 military coup. 

They differ on some aspects of talks with the Taliban and the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance but both agreed to resolve small differences for achieving some big political goals. Internews