'Non-state actors' want to take over Pak: Zardari
Islamabad, Oct 6 (PTI)
Amid intense criticism of the government for its inept handling of the flood relief work, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has warned that "non-state actors" wanted to take over the country by weakening the democratic system.
It would be dangerous for the whole region if these "non-state actors" succeed in their plans, Zardari said, without identifying such elements.
However, he expressed confidence that there would be no political change in the country through undemocratic means.
The President said the 2008 Mumbai attacks too were carried out by "non-state elements" and called on democratic forces in Pakistan and India to strengthen their ties to "block such incidents in future."
The government led by Zardari's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has been the subject of intense criticism following its inept handling of the country's economic problems and the rehabilitation of millions of people affected by floods.
Stung by speculation about a change of government, Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have mounted a strong defence of the administration.
Zardari, in an interview to a TV news channel, said PPP governments were removed twice in the past on the basis of allegations which could not be proved so far.
He said there would be a long list if he starts naming "political actors and orphans" involved in such moves against the party.
Besides bringing democracy, the PPP brought good governance to the country and Prime Minister Gilani is performing well, Zardari said.
He called on leaders of different political parties to play their role in strengthening the democratic system and confronting the challenges of terrorism and floods.
He said he did not agree with the view that opposition PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif had parted ways with the PPP, and maintained that the PML-N was still his party's coalition partner in Punjab province.
Sharif has a democratic approach and never talked of any change through undemocratic means, Zardari said.
However, the PPP and PML-N are different political parties with their own manifestos and they have to make"political statements," he added.
Zardari rejected the notion that the PPP-led government has any credibility issue, saying international institutions and friendly countries are generously contributing to and supplementing the country's flood relief efforts.
He said Rs 380 billion will be distributed among flood victims through Watan Cards and money is also being provided through the Benazir Income Support Programme.