‘Inexperienced’ Bilawal’s father Zardari sees coalition govt in 2024

Former President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed the belief that no single party will be able to secure a majority to form the next government after the 2024 general elections. He referred to his son, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, as “inexperienced.” Bilawal has been campaigning nationwide, presenting his party as the solution to Pakistan’s challenges and urging older politicians to step back. Zardari, in an exclusive interview on Geo News’ “Capital Talk,” stated that alliances would be inevitable, emphasizing the difficulty of securing 172 seats alone on the “chessboard” of the National Assembly.

Despite Bilawal’s strong criticisms of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the PPP’s former allies in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, Zardari supports a conducive environment and mutual respect among political parties. Zardari acknowledged Bilawal’s call for older politicians to step aside but emphasized Bilawal’s inexperience, stating that although Bilawal is talented, gaining experience takes time. Zardari highlighted the new generation’s right to express itself and suggested that intervening would only create more problems.

Discussing the upcoming elections, Zardari, as the president of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP), mentioned the distinct roles of PPP and PPPP. He affirmed active participation in the poll campaign, anticipating the general elections on February 8 next year. Reflecting on the past PDM experience, Zardari praised former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif but acknowledged difficulties and losses during the unity government.

In a revelation, Zardari claimed that the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehree-e-Insaf (PTI) had offered the PPP six ministries to join its government, aiming for a “minus-Zardari” PPP. Zardari considered the removal of Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion in April 2022 as the correct decision, accusing the PTI government of damaging the economy and bilateral relations. He disclosed Imran’s alleged plan for “RO elections” with military assistance to stay in power until 2028, emphasizing the economic crisis that would follow. Zardari’s revelations align with a previous audio leak where a property tycoon conveyed the then-prime minister’s message to Zardari, seeking PPP support to counter the no-confidence motion. Regarding the PTI’s participation in upcoming elections, Zardari affirmed their involvement.

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