MULTAN–Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Friday that the Supreme Court’s remarks on the Asghar Khan case have confirmed that PPP’s mandate was stolen and cheap tactics were adopted to make the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad successful.

Talking to the media at Multan Airport on Friday, he added that the role of presidency should not be compared with the role of dictators as they always came from backdoors while the PPP possessed a history of tremendous sacrifices it rendered during struggle against dictatorship. He said that money was distributed in 1990 to deprive PPP of rule. “The court verdict has also verified Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s statement that election was stolen,” he maintained.

To a query on his difference with president Zardari, he said that the difference of opinion on any issue did not mean a dispute. “Difference of opinion and viewpoint is beauty of democracy,” he added. He said, “My today’s meeting with president Zardari has no connection with the Asghar Khan case as I received message from the president on Thursday night while the verdict came on Friday noon.” He said that he was from the masses and he would remain amongst them. “We’re saying it since the day first that elections will be held on time. Many development schemes of those demanding pre-time polls are still under execution and therefore they have given up their demand,” he added.

He said that when he came to power the biggest demands of masses included restoration of judiciary, media and constitution. He added that despite lacking two third majority, the government restored constitution in its original form, resolve NFC award issue, offered provincial autonomy and granted identity to the residents of Gilgit Baltistan. He said that President Zardari also issued a statement regarding establishment of Saraiki Bank and SC Bench in South Punjab. He asserted that the current government would set up Saraiki province while power crisis would also be over soon. He said that the govt would ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country through 20th amendment. To another question, he said that Mian Manzoor Wattoo was a seasoned politician and his appointment as president of PPPP Punjab was a good omen.

Protest against Altaf Hussain: The Jamiat Talaba Arabia activists staged a demonstration against MQM Chief Altaf Hussain here outside Jamiaul Uloom on Friday, saying his statement regarding collection of whereabouts of seminaries was a conspiracy against religious institutions.

Dozens of protesters assembled on Masoom Shah Road and shouted slogans against Altaf Hussain. Holding placards and banners inscribed with different demands, they burnt American flags.

Addressing the protesters, Maulana Inamullah, Hafiz Sohaib and Hafiz Zeeshan Shabbir demanded the government should collect the data of terrorists of MQM first. They added that MQM was a terrorist organisation that committed terrorism in Pakistan on American orders.

They said that Karachi faced worst ever anarchy of its history because of MQM.

They warned that the JTA would stage demonstrations against Altaf Hussain across the country.