Zardari Defiant, Vows To Stay On


Islamabad: Embattled Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday vowed to continue as the country’s head of the state despite the “fabricated crisis” built around him amid rising tensions with the powerful military establishment.

”We want to make history, not headlines. I tell you politics – which we have left to our prime minister and the cabinet – is the art of the possible. But making a nation is the art of the impossible and I believe I am doing the art of the impossible,” Zardari told thousands of his supporters, who had gathered to mark his slain wife Benazir Bhutto’s fourth anniversary at her mausoleum in Southern Sind province’s Garhi Khuda Bakhsh village.

This was the president’s first public appearance since he returned to the country after a brief hospitalization in Dubai amid tensions with the army over an alleged memo that sought the US help to prevent a coup and clip its powers in May.

Zardari appeared confident and healthy, but defiant in his speech.

”I am a constitutional president and (Yousaf Raza) Gilani is a constitutional prime minister,” Zardari said amid speculation that his hospitalization was part of the attempts to depose him.

Zardari vowed to fight for democracy constitutionally. “We will not allow anyone to derail the system despite conspiracies being hatched against the elected government.”

Referring to cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who calls his rising popularity as a political “tsunami ,” the president said it was not a “tsunami” , but a “zoo-nami”.

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