President expresses displeasure over “uncalled for remarks” by Mirza

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday expressed displeasure over the “uncalled for remarks” made by the senior provincial minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and warned him to be careful in future. The President, who is also the Co-Chairman PPP, had summoned Dr Mirza on Thursday to seek his explanation over his controversial remarks. The President said all Muhajirs, whether in Sindh, KPK, Punjab or any other part of the country, were Pakistanis and sons of the soil. “Any suggestion to the contrary or any insinuation that tended to undermine their status as Pakistani nationals or patriotism is abhorrent,” a statement issued from the President House said.

The President said he also telephoned the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain early Friday morning to convey his regrets over the uncalled for and unacceptable remarks of Mirza. The President said the real and the greatest threat to the country came from the militants and emphasized upon the need to stand united against the real enemy.

President Zardari said this was time to strengthen democratic political forces, unite the people and build them as a bulwark against militancy and terrorism and not to do anything that undermined their strength. The President said the nascent democracy in the country was under threat from militancy and extremism. The present situation demands political forces to manifest tolerance and patience so that the country, its people and democracy, could be protected from all elements that were hostile to democracy. The President asked Dr Mirza to be careful in making public statements and said that neither the party nor the government would condone offensive remarks. Dr. Mirza arrived Islamabad past midnight by a special plane from Karachi. – App