President Asif Ali Zardari believes a concerted campaign has been launched by “political and other” elements to drive him out of the presidency while keeping the rest of the civilian government intact, according to one of his close aides.
“The objective behind the campaign, launched by different elements, political and others, is to target and malign one man to get him dislodged,” said Fauzia Wahab, Zardari’s aide and PPP spokeswoman.
“It was after our in-house, in-depth discussions, participated in by the President, that we reached a consensus that a premeditated move was underway to manage the exit of Zardari,” she told ‘The News´ daily.
Over the past few days, several PPP leaders considered close to Zardari, including federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, have issued statements that the ruling party would not accept any “minus one” formula regarding the civilian set-up.
Observers said this was a reference to a move to oust Zardari from presidency while keeping the rest of democratic government in place. Wahab said statements issued by Kaira and Shah reflected PPP’s policy and were approved by Zardari.
“More such statements are in store in the coming...days as a scare has hit the presidential circles with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s camp exuding confidence on the premise that it would remain untouched and unhurt in any likely eventuality leading to Zardari’s removal,” ‘The News´ reported.