ISLAMABAD: Taking strong exception to the media interview of former dictator General Pervez Musharraf that Asif Ali Zardari did not endure any hardship while in jail, opposition leader in the National Assembly and PPP leader Syed Khurshid Ahmd Shah said that his party did not believe a dictator and a proven coward who fled from the court to escape jail to talk like this.

“Fearing being sent to jail by the court, Musharraf demonstrated shameless cowardice by asking the driver to turn the vehicle towards a hospital a Rawalpindi feigning chest in pain instead of coming to the court where his lawyers were waiting for him,” Khurshid Shah said in a statement today.

“The spectre of cowardice will continue to haunt and chase him,” he said.

The PPP leader said that Asif Zardari spent 11 years in jail including long periods in solitary confinement without any conviction by a court. He was tortured while under custody and his tongue was slashed. Zardari was dragged from court to court, city to city and jail to jail to torture him. Trial courts were especially set up in the Attock fort on the pretext of security so as to inflict torture on him, he said.

“For over a decade Asif Zardari was denied living with family when his children were in the formative phase of life and needed the care of their father the most. If this is not torture while in custody what else is this?” Shah asked.

“Musharraf should try to be man enough to withstand even for half a day the hardships and torture that Asif Zardari has endured for over a decade. The PPP would welcome Musharraf under the shade of a mango tree planted by Zardari in Lahore jail if Musharraf had the courage to endure jail even for half a day,” he said.

Khurshid Shah said that he would not have responded if the statement had come from anyone else and not from a coward like Musharraf.