Was told to leave Pak with plane ready, but did not: Zardari

Was told to leave Pak with plane ready, but did not: Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari today said that he was asked to leave the country but he had refused to do so.

"I was told to leave the country and that a plane was ready but I refused as I am not a weak-hearted man like others," Zardari said while talking to a group of journalists and lawyers at the Governor's House.

He did not say who had asked him to leave the country or when the demand was made.

"I told them that I would instead get an FIR registered against such elements," he said.

In an apparent dig at PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who had gone into self-exile after the PML-N government was deposed in a military coup, Zardari said only weak-hearted people left Pakistan as they could not bear the pressure.

He said his government would complete its term despite conspiracies being hatched against it.

Responding to a question, he said: "Bearing pain is the secret of my success". He further said: "I honoured Nawaz Sharif as my elder brother but he did not come up to my expectations. He kept me in jail but I made friends with him".

Over the past few days, Zardari has repeatedly attacked the PML-N's top leadership.Referring to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif's remarks about hanging Zardari upside down at the historic Bhatti Gate in Lahore, the President said three politicians had earlier spoken about hanging him in Karachi but were unable to do anything. 

Zardari said he had no fight with the Supreme Court and had only sought justice by seeking a review of the death sentence awarded to Pakistan People's Party founder and former premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

"The apex court has been choosy in taking up cases. There are thousands of cases pending in the courts but only the political ones are being picked," he said.

The easy and speedy dispensation of justice to ordinary citizens remains the prime objective of the government, he added.

In recent months, the apex court has pressured the government to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland.

The court initiated contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after he refused to act, saying the President enjoyed immunity in Pakistan and abroad.

Zardari said all the accused linked to the assassination of his wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto, had either been arrested or killed.

"(Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief) Baitullah Mehsud was also involved in the murder. But our fight is with the mindset that had killed Benazir Bhutto and it will continue," he said.Referring to the country's foreign policy, he said world powers had used Pakistan in the past and put "rotten eggs" in the country's basket.

Zardari said the government had successfully waded through difficulties despite various challenges and hurdles and achieved significant achievements on many fronts.

The President listed the 18th, 19th and 20th constitutional amendments, the award of the National Finance Commission, provincial autonomy, a development package for Balochistan and poverty alleviation as the major achievement of his government.

"The PPP led government would continue its march on the path to progress and development despite challenges on various fronts," he said. 

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