No one is naïve enough to seek my resignation: Zardari


President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview with veteran journalist Hamid Mir on Saturday that there were no calls for him to resign from any quarters.
When Mir asked the president if his resignation was being sought, a confident Zardari replied in the negative. “I don’t think anyone is naïve enough to ask for my resignation.” During the interview, the president spoke at length about various issues of national and international significance ranging from the domestic political situation to relations between state institutions and ties with India, China and the United States. When asked whether the government was not going to write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases closed under the NRO because of Article 248 of the constitution, the president said: “It is not because of Article 248, but because I don’t want to go down in history and my prime minister does not want to go down in history” as the authors of such a letter. When asked if a trial would be held when he is no longer president, Zardari replied: “If somebody else wants to commit this sin, let them do it.” To a question about his health, the president said his condition was a lot better now. “Your muscle gets pulled sometimes,” he said on a lighter note, adding: “At the age of 57 when you are doing a stressful job, it can happen. I routinely work until four in the morning and it affects my health. I have party work, people to meet, protocol, so everything [piles up].”
In reply to a question about why he was seeking justice from the chief justice in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, he said: “The lower judiciary, which is under the chief justice, has to decide this case.” Referring to the case of former religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, on trial for alleged corruption in Haj affairs, Zardari said Kazmi was an honourable person and he believed him to be not guilty.
The president rejected the idea that Rehman Malik, Babar Awan or Farhatullah Babar or other PPP leaders were somehow responsible for the security lapses that led to the killing of Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007. Without giving a name, the president said the public meeting in Rawalpindi was organised by only one person, as other party leaders, including Rehman Malik, were against it.
He said when Benazir Bhutto was coming to Pakistan from Dubai, he tried to stop her by asking their children to make her understand that it was dangerous for her to go to Pakistan.
He said he still maintained that he knew who killed his wife. He said he had traced the murderers to Baitullah Mehsud, but he would not stop there. “I did not put a full-stop after Baitullah Mehsud, I put a comma there,” said the president.
The president said it was not true that the PPP gave guard of honour to former president Pervez Musharraf when he left the Presidency. “That is not true. First of all I was not the president. Those who gave him an honourable send-off, the presidential staff, they cannot be blamed. They do not come under the command of anybody else apart from the Presidency. The Presidency is under the command of its own self,” he said.
When asked to comment on his joining hands with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), he said PPP was the largest party in the country, and “if we close our doors, where will people go?” The president also said he did not know who broke Dr Zulfikar Mirza from the PPP. “I am not ready to believe that anybody can break him. It may have been a medical issue,” said the president.