President Asif Ali Zardari will not leave the country after completing his five-year term on September 8 as he intends to focus on reorganising the Pakistan People's Party, his spokesperson said today.
The PPP has strongly dispelled a perception in political circles that Zardari, 58, will prefer to spend most of his time in Dubai and Britain after he steps down.
"The president is going nowhere. Soon after leaving the presidency, Mr Zardari will spend a week in Lahore to look into party affairs in Punjab province," presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
"He will give more time and attention to the party and stay mostly in Lahore and Karachi for this purpose." Some PML-N and PPP leaders who spoke to PTI were of the view that Zardari might spend six months or so abroad with his family after completing his term.
"Zardari will prefer to stay abroad in the coming months as, at this stage, there seems to be no need to look into party affairs," said a PPP leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The leader said with almost five years to go for the next general election, no one seemed to be in a hurry to indulge in the affairs of the PPP.
A PML-N leader, who too did not want to be identified, said there was an understanding between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari that the PML-N government would not reopen any cases against the President after he completed his term.
"In return, Zardari will be a friendly opposition," he said.
The previous PPP-led government refused to revive graft cases against Zardari in Switzerland despite pressure from the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, the Swiss government informed Pakistan that the cases could not be reopened as they are time-barred.