ISLAMABAD - Former President Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday that more and more understanding between political parties is panacea to tackle all issues including ongoing political deadlock.

“I am here in the capital to save democracy,” said the co-chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) while talking to a select group of journalists here at Zardari House.

Zardari said that he has not extended any favour to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in this critical situation but is following the ideology of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. About current political deadlock, he stressed to resolve the political crisis through dialogue. He said that opposition parties are engaged in holding negotiations with protesting parties.

About heated discussion in the joint session of the parliament, Zardari was of the view that Aitzaz Ahsan was justified in defending allegations levelled against him. “Aitzaz is justified...He has the right to speak,” he added. However, Zardari opposed deterioration of ongoing cordial environment in the parliament. In a statement, Zardari condemned Chaudhry Nisar’s allegations against Aitzaz. He also demanded apology from Nisar over latter’s indecent selection of words. He was proud of Ahsan’s services for PPP. To a question about holding meetings with all political forces in this crisis, Zardari said he was not playing any double game.

 “I will fight openly if I decide to fight...I will not play on both sides,” he added.

When asked about PPP workers’ uneasiness over support to PML-N, the former president said that PPP is working for strengthening democracy in the country. “We will have to talk with each and everyone including establishment to resolve the crisis,” he said, adding that his party will stand for democracy. The PPP can only assure Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that it is with him for the sake of democracy, he further said.

“How can I advise to him,” said Zardri when asked to give suggestions to the prime minister in this political impasse.

Responding to a question, he didn’t rule out any international conspiracy behind the situation; however, he did not shed light on it when asked to share details.

About PTI’s protests, he was of the view that Imran got offended because he went through such situation for the first time.

He deplored the cancellation of Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan.

The PPP co-chairman said Tahiurl Qadri also launched long march during the PPP’s tenure but he dealt with him politically. He urged establishment and all the political parties to move together as it is necessary to resolve the crisis facing the country.