Nawaz Too Responsible For Kargil War: Zardari

5 July 2008
The Nation

Islamabad: Amid calls for President Pervez Musharraf to step down, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has insisted that he would have to quit but his party wants a graceful exit for him. Zardari denied allegations about him being soft on Musharraf but was of the opinion that he should be given a graceful exit. “I am not soft on Musharraf. My way of dealing with him is different. He will go. I cannot tell the time but we want a graceful exit for him,” he told Indian Aaj Tak news channel. “Yes, he (Musharraf) will go but there is no deadline,” the PPP Co-Chairman was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the TV channel. Zardari said “There are terrorists and terrorist camps in Pakistan. We are fighting a battle against them in NWFP,” he said. Asked who was responsible for the Kargil war, he said, “I think, both Musharraf and (former Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif were responsible for Kargil.” Advocating a visa-free regime for Indian citizens travelling to Pakistan, Zardari said he would be the first person to back such a proposal. The PPP Co-Chairman said Indo-Pak relations should not be held hostage to the Kashmir issue. “Kashmir is important not only for Pakistan but for India also. But, I do feel that Pak-India relations can be strengthened on other fronts and they should not be held hostage to the Kashmir issue,” Zardari said. Our Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Pakistan People’s Party observed 5th July (Saturday) as Black Day to condemn the ouster of the elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto by the then Chief of Army Staff General Ziaul Haq. Following the removal of political government, the dictator didn’t stop and engaged in the victimisation of the party leaders and activists, which culminated at the execution of the founding chairman of PPP Zulfiqar Bhutto. To condemn the brutalities of the dictatorship, the PPP used to mark the day as Black Day and hold seminars and functions to highlight the atrocities faced by the PPP leaders and activists during the darkest days under the Zia’s martial law.The services of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto are highlighted in these functions and pledges are made to follow in his footsteps for the cause of democracy in the country. In his message for the day, Co-Chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari said, “This day reminds us how a military dictator encouraged the extremist elements to endure his political objectives. We must pledge on this occasion for total elimination of dictatorship and the rule of law.” Information Minister Sherry Rehman said that his party as well as other political forces viewed July 5 as the Black Day and the day reminded the whole nation to promote the democratic traditions in the country. She said the PPP had always waged a struggle against dictatorship and would never compromise on its principled stand in the future as well. In Lahore and other districts of Punjab, local and district leaders of PPP arranged a series of functions to observe the Black Day and denounced the undemocratic acts of General Ziaul Haq.