Islamabad - President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the chief election commissioner seeking his intervention to prevent some political parties, especially the PML-N, from a vilification campaign against him in the interest of free and fair elections.

Farhatullah Babar, spokesperson for the president, in a letter addressed to Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, said, "I wish to bring to your attention the vilification campaign set to motion by the leadership of some political parties, particularly the PML-N, against (the person of) President Asif Ali Zardari, and its adverse impact on free and fair elections, and the need to urgently redress the issue.”

It stated the direct personal criticism of the president, during the campaign while the president was unable to respond to them, was denying a level-playing field to the party that has been contesting elections using the slogans and images of Shaheed Bhuttos. "The president is severely handicapped because out of deference to the court observations he cannot react to these accusations by employing a befitting political jargon," the letter went on say.

It cited the recent judgement of the Lahore High Court in President Zardari’s dual office case, in which the president, through a statement, dissociated himself from political affairs of the party, PPP.

“The president also restrained himself from participating in activities and holding meetings that could be seen as politically partisan in nature. The court, while disposing of the petition, also appreciated this response of the president,” it added.

The letter detailed “during the ongoing electioneering campaign a section of the political leadership particularly that of the PML-N has been hurling accusations against the president of Pakistan that tend to inevitably drag him into a political controversy”.

The president, on the other hand, is severely handicapped because out of deference to the court observations he cannot react to these accusations by employing a befitting political jargon.

“According to the Constitution‚ the president is head of the state and a symbol of the federation. He has disassociated himself from the politics and cannot respond to the allegations politically,” added the letter addressed to the chief election commissioner.

Talking to the media after handing the letter over to election commission Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad Khan, the presidential spokesperson said President Asif Ali Zardari had shown his satisfaction over the progress of the election commission as regards upcoming elections.

 The Pakistan People’s Party, Babbar said, was a party that was furthering the messages of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto through its manifesto. However‚ commenting about the violations of Election Code of Conduct was the responsibility of political parties rather than the president.