Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari conceded that Pervez Musharraf was given a safe passage after negotiations
President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday conceded that former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was given a safe passage after a process of negotiations and that there were international guarantors who have their interests in the region.
“I remained part of the negotiations and I hope that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf will play golf,” he said while talking to newsmen informally at the Presidency here on Monday at the Iftar-dinner hosted by him for print journalists and TV anchorpersons.
Replying to a question regarding the deal for the safe passage to Musharraf, the president said it was negotiated that the former president will play golf after resigning. When asked about prime minister’s statement that the trial of Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution is not suitable, the president said this question should be put to the prime minister.
“I am the President of Pakistan and will not make any comment on the prime minister’s statement,” he added. The president said the Pakistan People’s Party always opposed dictators and never accepted Pervez Musharraf as president. “The PPP has taken revenge through democracy and removed the dictator from the Presidency,” he added.
When asked about the reports of corruption in the media, the president said anti-democratic elements have always been trying to dub politicians as corrupt with a view to promoting their own vested interests. “The stories of corruption against politicians were part of the campaign against the politicians and they were being defamed through such stories,” he added.
The president said he would ask the prime minister to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to promote the process of national healing and unity. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission should be headed by Asma Jehangir,” he said.
Replying to a question about minus-one formula, the president said in a confident tone that this kind of formula would never succeed unless there was a president like Farooq Leghari in the Presidency.
When asked about the presence of his daughter Assefa Bhutto Zardari with him at foreign tours, the president said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is the chairman of the PPP and will actively participate in politics.
Replying to another question, he said the PPP government would fulfill its constitutional tenure of five years. The president said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is the chief executive of the country and he only advises him as the PPP co-chairman.
To another question, he said there were similarities in the assassination of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. “Anti-democratic forces were involved in the assassination of Bhutto family.
We were not against individuals but the thinking that creates such kind of incidents,” he added.
To a question regarding Osama Bin Laden, the president said Osama wanted to control Pakistan and he was follower of a specific thinking. “Osama is not an individual but the name of a specific thinking and we have humbled Osama through a clear policy and the results were being witnessed by every one,” he added.
When his attention was drawn towards the statement of Indian interior minister during his visit to the United States and asked whether his upcoming visit would be affected by the Indian propaganda, the president said India has its own agenda and his visit to the US will not be affected by it.
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