LAHORE – Pakistan Peoples’ Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari addressed a rally held at Lahore’s historic Mochi Gate. The PPP held a public gathering here on Monday to express its support to the Kashmiri struggle against Indian state brutality.

In his address, the PPP co-chairman said that today he is standing at the place where in the past renowned leaders such as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benzair Bhutto stood.

“In the previous rally, I had said that we can topple your government,” said Zardari while referring to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

The former president took a dig at the ruling party, saying: “Mian Sahab, you no longer rule in Balochistan.”

Zardari backed his party to right all the wrongs that the incumbent federal government has done, saying: “Even today PPP is so powerful that whatever loans they (PML-N) have taken and whatever problems they have created, PPP can resolve them.”

The former president accused the PML-N government of misusing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying: “They don’t understand the CPEC. They think of it as a loan-taking mechanism. CPEC was the first step of a huge project that could have made us a regional economic power. We could have become China’s force multiplier. Even today China imports food worth trillions but you [PML-N] can’t even sell its sugar.”

Zardari alleged that such policies are not borne out of naivety but are actually a part of a sinister plan of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif. “I don’t think he is that naive or stupid. He is purposefully creating an environment. He is using chaos theory just like Hitler did… and wants to take over everything of the public.

“But we won’t let them do this. We will not leave him because if we do this now then even Allah may not forgive us. He is a national thief.”

While referring to the occupied valley, Zardari said ‘Kashmir is our jugular vein’.

Earlier, PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan addressed the rally. He said that the Sharif family did not present a single evidence in the Panama case.

“Zardari has informed you about the reason for your ouster,” said Ahsan, directing his comment at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The PPP leader said that Nawaz failed to effectively raise voice for the plight of Kashmiris.

Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah also addressed the rally. He said that Mochi Ground is the place where voice was raised for Kashmiris, and the rights of the underprivileged.

Over 5,000 chairs have been set up by the organisers. Interestingly, in the recent by-election (NA-120) in Lahore, PPP candidate Faisal Mir received only 1,414 votes with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Kulsoom Nawaz winning the seat by receiving 61,745 votes.

Earlier today, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz also held a public gathering at Muzaffarabad today. Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and others also spoke to the gathering on the occasion.