MULTAN

Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani asserted on Tuesday that the democracy would never take roots in Pakistan if non-party elections were held in the country in 21st century.

Addressing a news conference here at a local hotel, he added that his party always expressed no-confidence in non-party elections. He said that participation in non-party election was, in fact, expression of no-confidence in political parties. He said that Javed Hashmi quit PML-N and PTI in the name of strengthening the democracy but he was going to contest election in independent capacity which clearly contradicted his own claims. He maintained that Aamir Dogar betrayed the PPP and Imran Khan refused to declare him his candidate. He said that on one hand Imran Khan categorically declared that he did not recognize the parliament as thieves, dacoits and thugs sat in it while on the other hand vice chairman of his party openly supported an independent candidate Aamir Dogar.

He said that threats could not frighten PPP and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would address public meeting in Karachi on October 18th. He added that the PPP leadership had always been threatened by certain elements but it was never afraid of it. He said that he, his brother and sons were given threats during general elections and one of his sons was kidnapped but nothing could divert him from his mission of serving the public.

He said that the recent by-election united 98 per cent workers of PPP and the day of October 16, would dawn with the news of success of PPP candidate Dr Javed Siddiqui. He said that the PPP elevated Farooq Leghari, Mustafa Khar and Aamir Dogar to high party offices but they betrayed. He claimed that all political parties supported the PPP in by-election in NA-149 for the sake of democracy and strengthening political institutions.

Earlier, an independent candidate from NA-149 Rana Saleemur Rehman announced withdrawal of his candidature in favour of PPP candidate Javed Siddiqui.