Lahore, Apr 20: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said that he would contest the June 3 by-elections and might assume the office of prime minister, if needed.
In an interview with the BBC Urdu service, Zardari said the people of Pakistan had voted for a new government in the hope that it would change the system, and therefore, the PPP-PML coalition was committed to this. He claimed that the "establishment" that brought President Pervez Musharraf to power was now involved in “palace intrigues" against the new democratic government. He also cofirmed that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi,would formally write to the United Nations within two weeks to ask for a UN-led probe into his wife Benazir Bhutto"s killing. He said his sister Faryal Talpur and he would file nomination papers for the by-elections from the National Assembly seat Benazir contested from.
He said Benazir had not nominated him, but his sister Faryal Talpur, as the guardian of her children in her will. “She might have preferred Faryal as a guardian because she knew that I was to undertake the heavy responsibility of being the party"s chairman and also because of the fact that whoever became the party"s chairman was martyred," he said.
About his party's rapidly changing ties with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), he said both sides would have to accept each other with open hearts.
According to the Daily Times, he also said that the government would restore all judges sacked on November 3. He said the sacked judges had not started their ongoing struggle for personal concerns.
The ruling coalition would think of President Musharraf"s possible impeachment after it secures a two-thirds majority in parliament.
Zardari said that he did not want a confrontation with the president for the sake of the country but “it does not mean that we accept him".