javaid-ur-rahman & israr ahmed

Islamabad/Rawalpindi - Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, former prime minister and central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, on Saturday said that PPP had supported PML-N government in current political turmoil only to save democracy and for the supremacy of parliament.

“All the political impasse-related problems need to be resolved through dialogue... PPP believes in dialogue and supremacy of parliament,” said PPP’s leader from Punjab while addressing a press conference at the central secretariat of the party in Islamabad.

The PPP nowadays is fully concentrating on Punjab province where it faced major defeat in previous general elections. Imran Khan’s recent public gatherings in Lahore and Karachi ostensibly pushed the major opposition party to hold public meetings in these two provinces (Sindh and Punjab) to appease its annoyed voters.

To a question about mid-term elections, Ashraf termed mid-term elections legal and constitutional, saying, “Mid-term polls are held in the world.”

He urged for verification of votes in view of the rigging allegations. The former prime minister said that he was 100 per cent sure about rigging during general elections.

Answering a question about extraordinary love with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in current political situation, he said that PPP was only supporting the PML-N to save democracy. “We will fight for democracy, as our party strongly believes in continuation of democracy,” he added.

Responding to another question, the former PM said he might have held fresh elections if he was the prime minister of the country. “Although holding protest is the right of political forces yet the sit-ins carried out by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) are badly damaging the national economy,” he said. He further said that these sit-ins at Constitutional Avenue had badly caused loss to national economy. “I would say issues should be handled through talks,” he added.

Responding to yet another question about demand of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation, he seemingly avoided the question and remarked that he would not go in details. He further stressed on holding elections in free, fair and transparent manner. “Whenever elections are held, they should be free, fair and transparent,” he added.

Meanwhile, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that his party would hold a mammoth public gathering in Karachi on October 18 that would be addressed by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. He said that the slain PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto was marching towards Jinnah Park on October 18, 2007 to address a public gathering but she could not accomplish her mission owing to a suicide attack on her rally. “Now Bilawal will make her mother’s dream true by addressing a public gathering in Karachi on October 18,” he said. Raja expressed these views while talking to media persons at Paracha House, Rawalpindi, on Saturday after having a meeting with party leaders and workers.

He said that the PPP was not against the sit-ins being staged by PTI and PAT in Islamabad but the economy of country should not be damaged at any cost. He said that the country was passing through a critical phase, as Islamabad had been sealed owing to sit-ins and protests. He said that PPP did not accept the results of elections in 2013 and free and fair elections were necessary for flourishing of democracy in the country.

He said that PPP would take out rallies in Rawalpindi, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir and four provinces and reach Karachi to make the gathering successful. He said that his party would also welcome PTI gathering in Larkana on October 21. He said PPP workers were living like a family in Pakistan. “We have to move together to continue the missions of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his daughter Benazir Bhutto who sacrificed their lives for the uplift of the poor,” he added.