Former President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday said he was confident that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would hold free and fair elections in the country on February 8, 2024.
With the date proposed for the general elections just two months away, the PPP has repeatedly bemoaned the lack of a level playing field. During a rally in Peshawar on Saturday, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said his party was accustomed to overcoming unfair political challenges.
“Was there any level playing field in 1988 when IJI was formed against [former prime minister] Benazir Bhutto? But still, Benazir Bhutto won the election and became the first female prime minister of the country,” he had said.
He had also highlighted how the 2002 elections under the military ruler Pervez Musharraf were “sn­­atched away” from the PPP. “Even then, PPP performed well. But some people turned out to be sellouts. Benazir termed them ‘Pakis­tan People’s Parasites’,” Bilawal had added.
However, in a statement today, Zardari said: “The country is heading towards transparent polls and the PPP is fully prepared for elections.”
“The PPP is the only party which is capable of fighting elections in all kinds of environments,” Zardari stated, adding that he was confident the PPP would emerge victorious on Feb 8.
The environment in the country is favourable for elections and polls should be held on time, Zardari said.
The former president’s statement comes a day after he held a meeting with UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott at Bilawal House in Karachi. A party statement issued after the meeting said that Zardari and Marriott, accompanied by their aides, held a detailed discussion on a “range of issues”.
Sources privy to details of the discussion told Dawn that the British envoy was keen to gauge the PPP’s confidence about the prospects of polls on Feb 8. Another point of interest for the foreign delegates, they said, was to know the party’s strategy for the upcoming national elections.