As the session of the National Assembly (NA) resumed on Thursday, Mr. Zardari addressed the House for the first time, after his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi, following the issuance of his production order by the National Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday.Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that there was no sincerity in a claim that the Budget (2019-20) was formulated in the finance department [of the government]. The PPP co-chairman was accompanied by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari as he arrived in the National Assembly to take part in the budget discussion.He was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau in connection with an investigation into money laundering and fake bank accounts. While speaking on the floor of the house, the PPP chairman drew the government’s attention toward the pests damaging crops in parts of Sindh.Talking about the current economic situation, he said government and opposition can sit together to discuss issues affecting the economy. The former president criticized the government over the budget presented last week.He said common citizens were feeling threatened after his arrest. The PPP co-chairman called for an end to “accountability ” and arrests in order to move forward.Zardari said the government should avoid taking steps that could trigger countrywide protests and create a situation that would be no longer in control of politicians. Without naming anyone, he said the forces who brought the PTI into power should also think about the consequences.He said the government has increased salaries of employees in the budget but an increasing tax on them has only offset the benefit of that raise.Zardari said steps need to be taken to restore the confidence of industrialists and businessmen.“My arrest has not affected the PPP. Peoples Party has rendered great sacrifices,” the PPP co-chairman said while asking who would be held accountable in the country?“If there is no flaw in the budget, then why the poor have been under miserable conditions?” he went on to ask.He referred to the current economic policies as the primary reason for the hardships of industrialists, and said: “Businessmen have been in a state of fear and panic.”“This wave of arrests must end now…Those powers who bring the government [into power] have to think,” he added while warning that the situation must not escalate to such an extent that the general public takes to streets.“The salaries of the government employees have been increased [in the proposed budget], and on the other hand taxes have been imposed,” he said in an ironic manner.“The FBR even sends the notice on a cheque of Rs5 lakh,” he said.“Old memories have been revisited as I come in the assembly, jails are not new for us,” he stated, adding people ponder over what would happen to them if Zardari has been arrested.He said he came to know about the [proposed] budget in the newspapers.The former president also said that his party was ready to sit for talks [with the government] for forming economic policy.Yesterday, the production order was issued for Zardari, and according to it NA Speaker Asad Qaiser “considers their presence during the said session necessary”.Zardari had been taken into custody by the NAB on June 10 after his pre-arrest bail plea was rejected by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the fake accounts case. His sister, Faryal Talpur, was taken into custody on June 14. Both PPP leaders are currently on remand.