ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has been able to mend fences with the military leadership after the last month’s tirade created tensions, aides said on Friday.

“There is no more any misunderstanding. The issue has been amicably resolved”, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said while talking to The Nation.

“The PPP has time and again assured the military leadership that the party has a lot of respect for the military and does not intend to question their integrity”, he added.

“There was never an issue. There was a misunderstanding and that has been resolved now”, he contended.

Kaira said the PPP has allowed extension to the Rangers in Karachi although there were reservations against their deployment. “Asif Ali Zardari too had not spoken against the military leadership but some actions of the Rangers. The federal government has now promised that the Rangers will not violate their limits”, he remarked.

The PPP leader said Zardari has always appreciated the armed forces for their fight against terrorism. “Our leadership acknowledges their sacrifices and has always been behind them”, he mentioned.

Kaira said some anti-PPP elements blew the Zardari statement out of proportion which created the misunderstandings. “We were speaking against the past dictators and some people directed this to the incumbent military leadership. We cannot criticise the role of Generals who perform their duties according to the law. We respect them”, he commented.

Other sources said that there might be a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari soon to bury the issue once for all. “Since a direct meeting with the military leadership may create more questions, Zardari might meet the PM to end the ugly episode”, a source said.

Last month, in an uncharacteristically aggressive speech, Zardari had lashed out against what he called “the character assassination of his party.”

Later, Zardari’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Baber had said the statement of Director General Rangers, Bilal Akbar, about massive corruption and extortion in Karachi, was “at best an admission of its failure to check crimes in the city and at worst invite criticism that it was in complicit with the crimes syndicates which it claims was backed by unnamed political leaders”. Senior PPP leader Rehman Malik told The Nation that the ‘misunderstanding’ between Zardari and the military was a thing of the past.

“The issue is finished. The misunderstanding has been resolved. Some people tried to overplay something that had never happened. The PPP and its leadership respect the military”.

Malik said the military has played a vital role in defeating the terrorism and the PPP supports the operation in the terror-infected areas.