LAHORE -  PPP-P President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said that Parliament was the right forum to initiate the grand dialogue as proposed by the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Talking informally to reporters and later chairing a meeting of party’s Lahore division, the former President said that the grand dialogue should not be aimed at protecting a single person. 

Zardari also advised Nawaz Sharif to accept the court verdict in the Panama case instead of raising hue and cry over his ouster.

Why is he not accepting the court decision? he asked, adding, “We had accepted the court decision and changed the Prime Minister”.

He said that the democratic process should be kept moving in all circumstances. 

The PPP leader further stated that he had always struggled to work closely with the political parties for the sake of national reconciliation.

He also slammed Sharif for what he called striking a deal with Musharraf to leave for Saudi Arabia. “On the other hand, I preferred to live in prison over making a deal with the former dictator”, he stated.

Talking about his past relations with Mian Nawaz Sharif, he said that the PML-N leader refused to meet him when he wanted to visit him for condolence on the demise of his brother.

This he did in order to please the non-democratic forces, he added.

To a question, Zardari said that Senate Chairman, Raza Rabbani was an independent scholar and Chairman of the Senate, and had his personal views on different issues. But unlike him, Aitzaz Ahsan would always speak his (Zardari’s) mind. “Aitzaz Ahsan is my voice. He speaks whatever I state.” 

Also, addressing the party men from Lahore division, Zardari said that PPP will regain Punjab after the next general elections.

“Punjab belonged to the PPP and shall remain so in future also”, he said. Talking about the by-election in NA-120, he said that he would be visiting this constituency soon to canvass for the party candidate, Faisal Mir.

He asked party men to take this election seriously and launch a vigorous campaign in favour of the party candidate.

He said he would go to Sindh to celebrate Eid and then come back again to stay here for a longer time.