'Persecuted' Zardari doesn't want lawyers to steal Benazir's thunder

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Karachi, Apr 4 : PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is learnt to have pulled up deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Choudhary's advocate Aitzaz Ahsan for making a bid to claim the credit of forcing President Pervez Musharraf to step aide and allow free and fair polls in the country.

Zardari said at time some of these judges had not conducted with any degree of integrity or independence in the past, and reminded him while he was in jail none of these heroic judges had given him justice and one of them had not allowed him to attend a close relative's funeral.

At a dinner last night, Zardari reportedly told Aitzaz that he was wrong to think that the lawyers' movement had forced Musharraf to take off his uniform or hold the elections.

That honour belonged to Benazir Bhutto who had compelled Musharraf to do so and paid for it with her life, Zardari said and added that the entire credit for restoration of democracy went to his slain wife Benazir and Aitzaz and the judges and lawyers could not rob her of her victory.

Quoting sources present on the occasion, the Daily Times reported that Zardari took Aitzaz to task for constantly threatening to launch a long march to force parliament to restore Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the other deposed judges.

Zardari advised Aitzaz to go ahead with his long march if he was so keen on it instead of constantly threatening the PPP about it, added the paper.

According to sources, Aitzaz tried a feeble defence but could not deflect Zardari's irritation. "I thought Aitzaz would get up and leave but he just sat there," they added.

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