Pakistan president slams critics

Zardari in defiant speech on second anniversary of wife Benazir Bhutto's murder.

    Bhutto was killed as she was leaving an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi two years ago [EPA]

    Wailing crowds 

    Thousands of people, including children, had travelled to the Bhutto family mausoleum to pay homage.

    Bhutto was assassinated in 2007 in a gun and bomb attack at an election rally in Rawalpindi.

    Many wailed and wept as others recited from the Quran and prayed.

    Yousuf Raza Gilani, the prime minister, along with his cabinet members also visited the mausoleum.

    Zardari's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) formed a coalition government after the February 2008 general elections and later forced former president Pervez Musharraf to resign under threats of impeachment.

    Zardari then became the president but faced criticism after few months in office for holding onto the sweeping powers he inherited from Musharraf as well as for a controversial amnesty that shielded him and his aides from corruption charges.

    Musharraf had issued the decree, known as National Reconciliation Ordinance, as part of a power-sharing deal with Bhutto.

    The supreme court scrapped the amnesty on December 16, reopening the cases against more than 8,000 beneficiaries, including Zardari who now enjoys presidential immunity against prosecution.

    Plea to quit

    Several leaders of the PPP's main rival, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and civil rights activists have asked Zardari to relinquish the charge on moral grounds.

    Even before the amnesty collapsed, Zardari suffered from abysmal approval ratings, fuelled by his nickname "Mr 10 Per Cent" owing to graft allegations and 11 years spent in jail on charges ranging from corruption to murder.

    "The man who spent 11 years in jail, does not care about your threats," Zardari told his supporters on Sunday.

    "One should not take our patience as a weakness.

    "There are only two places for Asif Ali Zardari - either president or prime minister house or jail."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.