Some politicians trying to vitiate political environment: Ashraf

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Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Monday said a few politicians were trying to vitiate the political environment by mudslinging against the president, who was the symbol of the federation.

Addressing a press conference at the PPP Media Centre, Ashraf warned against pushing the country’s politics back into the 1990s era.

He said a conspiracy was being hatched to delay the elections and those trying to provoke the PPP workers were also part of the conspiracy.

Ashraf said political parties should count their own achievements during their tenures rather than accusing others.

The former prime minister said PPP workers had the right to respond to the accusations from a former chief minister of a province in the same coin.

Ashraf claimed that the PPP had never been given a level playing field in the elections since 1988 and these elections were no exception.

Citing the example of former water and power minister Liaquat Jatoi, he said if his nomination papers could be accepted despite his implication in the Rental Power Plants case, why his papers were rejected.

He also quoted the examples of PPP leaders Rana Farooq Saeed and Murtaza Satti whose nomination papers had been rejected though they were not convicted in any case.

“Article 63 of the constitution is very clear as it says that no one can be disqualified before conviction,” he said.

“The PPP candidates have been targeted and their nomination papers were rejected while its opponents were released from jails to contest elections against the PPP,” claimed Ashraf.

Referring to the issue of provision of security to former prime ministers and chief ministers, he said it was strange that the caretaker chief minister of a province had 400 security personnel and his predecessor had 700 security men.

He said about his security, some authorises were concerned and wanted to slash his security even more and reduce it to single digit figure.

To a question, Ashraf said the masses were the best judge, adding “let them accept or reject the candidates on May 11”.