ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has disclosed to his party men that not just the domestic opposition but international forces also were whipping up a storm against the government, but vowed not to submit to any dictation.
According to insiders who listened to his blunt talk at the Presidency during a dinner hosted by him for PPP’s parliamentarians on Monday night, the president surprised party members by stating that the Americans might have felt disappointed with the government for not meeting all their demands. That, however, he said, could be renegotiated “with us or whoever succeeds us”.
Unhappy with the local media, Mr Zardari showed displeasure with even the international press for running reports against the present set-up.
President Zardari, who is also the People’s Party’s co-chairman, had the same advice for party hotheads angry with the coalition allies.
The president said he knew how the MQM had treated PPP workers in the past. However, he declared that he would not take revenge and continue working for reconciliation with all political forces.
Although he avoided passing any harsh, explicit remarks against the judiciary, at one point he recalled that judges had kept putting off his bail applications.
Perhaps for the first time, President Zardari admitted that the party had mishandled the issue of the defunct National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). Without naming anyone, he accused some advisers of misleading the party and the government on the issue.
Abdul Qayyum Jatoi MNA from Muzaffargarh repeated his controversial remarks that had cost him his ministry last week and, sources claimed, got an appreciative nod from the chair.
Senator Safdar Abbasi, who had not been invited to the Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting on Sept 23, blasted the government’s economic policy as well as the strategy to deal with the NRO and the judiciary.
He was of the opinion that those who had wrongly advised the party and the government on these issues should be taken to task.
Senator Abbasi went on to say that now it was up to the president and the prime minister to save the government.
He was particularly critical of the government’s policy of depending upon the Friends of Democratic Pakistan group for financial help.