Zardari blames PM Sharif for lynching of Pakistani varsity student

Former president Asif Ali Zardari has blamed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the lynching of a university student who was accused of blasphemy.

world Updated: Apr 25, 2017 22:45 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Pakistan People's Party,Asif Ali Zardari,Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
File photo of former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari.(AFP)

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of being responsible for the murder of Mashal Khan, a university student who was lynched over a charge of blasphemy accusation.

Zardari made the accusation while addressing a political rally at Malakand in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, close to the place where Khan lost his life earlier this month.

“It all happened because of your (Sharif’s) philosophy. That is why I hold you responsible for this incident,” Zardari said. “You are the offspring of (former military dictator) Zia-ul-Haq.”

Later, he criticised the premier’s brother, Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, saying to the crowd, “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is yours, but you are being deprived of it by the Punjab chief minister.”

Pledging to assist the Pakhtun community in regaining control of “your projects and resources”, Zardari said his party had vowed to serve the masses. “We have given the Pakhtuns their identity as we know that they needed to be recognised,” he added.

The province's name was changed from the North West Frontier Province to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa when Zardari was the president and the PPP was in power at the centre.

Zardari and other PPP leaders have stepped up attacks on Sharif and his PML-N party as political parties gear up for the next general election, which is expected to be held next year. The PML-N came to power by defeating the PPP in the 2013 general election.

First Published: Apr 25, 2017 22:07 IST