ISLAMABAD: The spokesman of President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday rejected allegations levelled by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) about ‘political meetings’ of the president, and clarified he had no political ambitions.
“The president held a meeting in Islamabad with a PML-N delegation from Sindh in his personal capacity,” the president’s spokesman said in an official statement.
The spokesman also rejected the notion that Hussain may lead the election campaign for local government elections in Sindh.
Before becoming president, Hussain had an active political role in Sindh and enjoyed grass-root ties with workers, which is why the workers requested for a meeting which the president accepted, clarified his spokesman.
“The PPP is surprised that unlike former president Asif Zardari, the incumbent president is no longer restrained by the court order from participating in partisan political meetings,” said PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar in a statement on Tuesday.
He said former president Zardari had been “restrained by the court observations from participating in PPP meetings, which were regarded a political activity not in keeping with the dignity and non-partisan nature of the office of the head of the state.”
“The former president, respecting the court orders, avoided attending meetings of PPP legislators and workers in Presidency even though he had reservations over it,” Babar added.
The PPP’s reaction came in response to an official handout issued by the Prime Minister House stating that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had “co-chaired” a meeting with President Hussain with office-bearers of the Sindh chapter of the Pakistan Muslim League-N at the PM office on Monday.
Babar said the press release had implied that the restraint did not apply to the incumbent president and vindicated the PPP’s position on the issue.
But Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal rejected the PPP’s criticism and said that the president had maintained the decorum of his office as the meeting had not been held in the Presidency.
Iqbal, who also attended the Monday’s meeting, said that the criticism did not suit the PPP since Mr Zardari was the party’s co-chairman while he was president and he used to hold meetings of even the party’s central executive committee and so-called core committee in the Presidency.
The 2018 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference is scheduled for April 8 to 11 in Boao, Hainan Province. The forum will be themed "An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity."
— The Daily Mail - People's Daily