Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Aitzaz Ahsan on Tuesday conceded that he was “quite surprised” over the announcement made by the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on December 27 — to contest by-elections and become part of “this Parliament”.
The senior politician and lawyer said that the announcement made by PPP’s co-chairman was a “very jolting surprise” for him.
Speaking during a talk show on ARY News, Ahsan said: “In his [Zardari’s] absence, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto had been thriving to re-ignite the party’s revival in Punjab, which might go on the back burner now.”
When asked about how Zardari’s return would affect the party’s politics, he said “time will tell whether it turns out to be good or bad for the party”.
“There will be different kind of politics now, which might benefit the party or might not,” he added.
Ahsan said that he and other senior leaders of the party were not consulted by Zardari before announcing the decision to run for National Assembly.
After his return to Pakistan from an 18-month, self-imposed exile, the former president had announced that both he and his son, the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, will contest elections and be part of “this Parliament”.
“I want to share the good news I had promised: Bilawal and I will contest the election now, right now, [and sit] in this Parliament,” Zardari had told a charged crowd of PPP supporters as the party observed the 9th death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh last month.
‘Panamagate an open and shut case’
Aitzaz Ahsan said the Panamagate is an open and shut case. “The contradictions in the statements given by the prime minister and his son [Hussain Nawaz] should be thoroughly examined by the court.”
“The Supreme Court should summon the premier and his family members, and have lawyers ask them questions regarding the matter,” the PPP senator added, saying the onus is on the prime minister to prove how all that money was transferred or brought back.
Ahsan contended that just like any other civil servant, Nawaz Sharif should also be brought before the court. “No one should be given special treatment.”
When asked whether a commission should be formed to inquire the Panama leaks, he said: “A judicial commission was not needed to probe the allegations against the Sharif family… because we already have the confessional statements from the accused.”
“A commission could have been formed if the accused had denied ownership of the disputed properties,” he clarified.