LAHORE - Former president Asif Ali Zardari Monday reiterated the PPP’s resolve to continue supporting Kashmiris’ struggle for right to self-determination.

He was addressing his supporters at a public gathering in Mochi Gate, organised by the PPP Punjab chapter to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day.

He took a swipe at ruling Sharifs for, what he called, ignoring Kashmir. However, he claimed former president Pervez Musharraf had agreed Kashmir resolution with India but the plan “could not be executed due to disagreement of the generals”.

“When Gen (r) Musharraf presented the Kashmir solution formula to the generals in a meeting, they refused to accept it,” Zardari told his supporters.

Without giving details of the agreement, the PPP second-in-command said he still had the document Musharraf had finalised for Kashmir resolution.

Zardari lashed out at ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shehbaz Sharif, calling them ‘national thieves’. He alleged the Sharifs for ignoring Kashmir, saying: “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and they don’t know this fact.”

He added: “They (Sharifs) are working on chaos theory to grab the whole country and it assets.”

He said the Sharifs have been blaming the judiciary for not trying Musharraf for high treason while their government was responsible for allowing Musharraf to leave the country.

“Before the court, they said they don’t have objection if Musharraf is allowed to go abroad,” Zardari claimed and questioned why they were not getting Musharaf back when they were in power.

He also claimed that that the Sharifs knew nothing about CPEC. “CPEC has to make Pakistan a regional power but the N leadership has failed to understand its value.”

Zardari highlighted sacrifices of the PPP for democracy, saying: “Today no dictator can dare invade civil rule.”

He continued: “I spent 15 years in jail. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged. Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life for the sake of democracy. Benazir Bhutto came back to Pakistan not for power but to oust a dictator. Musharraf offered her power from day one but Benazir wanted to end his dictatorial rule. But Sharifs are busy cutting roots of democracy.”

He also announced Bilawal Bhutto and Asifa Bhutto would formally contest the upcoming elections. “Next general elections will be free and fair when the Sharifs won’t be allowed to steal PPP mandate.”

“Nawaz is a burden on the motherland hence intolerable,” he said.

The former president accused Nawaz of ‘stealing the PPP mandate’ and forming the PML-N government in AJK with help of a ‘capitalist’. “We tolerated it for the sake of democracy. We will also name the capitalist on an appropriate time,” he added.

The former president said whenever he made a claim to pull down a government through democratic means he proved. “I claimed that I can pull down a government so I did,” Zardari said pointing to Balochistan where PML-N chief minister quit over no-trust move.

They (Sharifs) pursued wrong energy policy as they are only concerned about raising their bank balances. He said the PML-N government is blind to the geostrategic value of Pakistan which is its biggest strength.

He also mentioned about the Iran-Pakistan gas-pipeline which the PPP government had agreed, and the PML-N government vowed to mature it but, he added, it backed off.

Using the word ‘cancer’ for Nawaz Sharif, Zardari said: “May God get the nation rid of you!”

Other PPP leaders Syed Khursheed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Faisal Saleh Hayat, Manzoor Ahmad, Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani also spoke on the occasion.