Says he is not afraid of the establishment
Former president Asif Ali Zardari has asked ex-premier Nawaz Sharif to return to Pakistan as a precondition for opposition lawmakers to resign en masse from the assemblies, opposition sources said Tuesday.
Zardari said that Nawaz should come to Pakistan first to talk about resignations, according to sources within the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
The PDM, a multiparty opposition alliance, was formed in September 2020. It had announced a march against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government on March 26.
A PDM meeting is currently underway in Islamabad to discuss the long march and resignations from assemblies.
Zardari told opposition leaders at the meeting that he was not afraid of the establishment, according to the sources.
“We all will have to go to prison if we want to fight,” the former president was quoted as saying. “The struggle against the establishment should be aimed at achieving democratic stability, instead of settling personal scores.”
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed told SAMAA TV that Zardari doesn’t want his lawmakers to resign from the assemblies.
“He is not in favour of resigning from the assemblies and he has conveyed this message to Nawaz Sharif two or three days ago,” the minister said. Sharif won’t return to Pakistan “at any cost,” he added.
Rasheed said he had a meeting with PM Khan earlier in the morning and the premier made it clear that he wouldn’t bow down before the opposition.
The government would allow the opposition to stage a sit-in or hold a long march as long as they remain in constitutional bounds, he said.