ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Foreign Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif did not qualify to be in the office amid foreign policy failures.

Addressing a news conference here, he claimed that the government had failed in all departments. “I have been saying that they don’t deserve to run the government. They have failed,” he said.

Senator Sherry Rehman, Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Nadeem Afzal Chann, Faisal Karim Kundi, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla and Nazeer Dhoki were also present on the occasion. The PPP leader said his party had been pressing the government to appoint a full-time foreign minister but they only named Khawaja Asif to the slot after they had lost much on the diplomatic front.

“For more than four years we did not have any foreign minister. We need a strong FM to handle the (diplomatic) challenges,” he added.

He said Pakistan had tackled the Financial Action Task Force grey list during the PPP tenure through diplomacy.

Zardari said the nation needs to unite to save Pakistan as some elements were busy creating rifts, targeting the stability of the country.

Criticizing ousted premier Nawaz Sharif for ridiculing the judiciary, Zardari said Sharif was trying to weaken the institutions. “Nawaz Sharif is trying to weaken institutions. Weak institutions make the country weak,” he said.

The PPP leader accused Sharif - who was disqualified as head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) by the Supreme Court - of manipulating the bureaucracy to revolt against the state. “The downsizing of leaders has begun and they can do nothing about it,” he added.

To a question, Zardari said that he was expecting the 2018 general elections on time. He maintained that PML-N was not ousted from the Senate elections.

He said that the PPP was supported by the Awami National Party and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) of the Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the Senate polls in the past.

“It is easier to take votes if the party rules in the centre and the provinces,” he argued when asked about the defeats of the PPP in the Punjab in the by-elections.

Zardari said he was not involved in any horse trading for the Senate elections. “By the way, we cannot compete with Nawaz Sharif on spending money,” he quipped.

The PPP leader said his party had nominated candidates in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhaw as nobody can stop them from contesting the Senate polls.

To a question, Zardari said Iran had not handed over Chabahar port to India. “It’s only for trade. They have not handed it over to India,” he argued.

To a question, Zardari said that he had no concern with the third marriage of Imran Khan. “Because I don’t have too good relations with him so I cannot congratulate him on his new wedding.”

Later, addressing party’s officer bearers of Rawalpindi City, Zardari asked party workers to take the message of the party to every corner of the country.

He Zardari said the PPP had always served the people of Pakistan especially it has worked for women and youth. He said that PPP services for the downtrodden masses are innumerable.

The former President said that the country has a young leader and every party worker should spread the message of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

He said that all workers of the party were ambassadors of the party Chairman. Zardari said that party will win the next elections and will form government in centre and all provinces. He instructed party workers to start election campaign in their respective constituency.