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Zardari ‘demands PM post for Bilawal in return for PML-N support in Punjab’ IG News

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PML-N starts discussion with PPP to form federal and provincial governments

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (right) and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.  — Facebook/@ppppbalochistan
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari (right) and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. — Facebook/@ppppbalochistan
  • Bilawal claims that it is not possible to form a government in central Punjab without the PPP.
  • Shehbaz informs about contacts with various parties.
  • MQM-P delegation travels to Lahore to meet Shehbaz.

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/SUKKUR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has told his party leaders that former President Asif Zardari has demanded the prime ministership for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Butt Zardari and chief ministerial portfolios, News he reported citing sources.

The PPP agreed to form a coalition government with the PML-N on the condition that Bilawal would become the prime minister.

Shehbaz told the party leaders that in return, Zardari offered that the PPP would support the PML-N in forming the government in Punjab.

News learned from PML-N sources that former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met former President Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal on Friday evening and discussed the future coalition. Party sources said on Saturday that PML-N leaders discussed various options for forming the future government at the Center and Punjab.

In this regard, a PML-N leadership meeting chaired by Shehbaz Sharif was held on Saturday. The meeting was attended by Senator Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, Attaullah Tarar, Khawaja Imran Nazir and others.

The PML-N president discussed various options for government formation in the meeting. It was said in the party that despite PML-N becoming the largest political party in the country, it cannot form the government by itself and needs the help of other political parties or independent candidates.

Party sources claim that the PML-N leadership is in shock as the election results were completely different from their expectations. They said that Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders were too confident and the party leadership did not pay much attention to public meetings, door-to-door campaigns, mass public campaigns and direct contact with voters, especially on election day.

Party sources added that so far the first option being explored by the PML-N was forming a coalition with Zardari, but he did not want to give up the post of prime minister.

Sources claimed that it was decided in the meeting that PML-N would form a coalition government with MQM, JUI-F and other smaller parties, including independents and elected parties, in case of failure of negotiations with PPP. They further claimed that under this scenario, the PML-N will make Shehbaz Sharif the Prime Minister and Maryam Nawaz the Chief Minister of Punjab.

Party leaders, however, were directed to consider several options for the future government composition at the centre, Punjab and Balochistan.

The three largest parties, PML-N, PPP and the independent party affiliated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are vying to form the next governments after the February 8 general elections as the election results are announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). it is almost perfect.

The PML-N on Saturday started discussion with the PPP to form the federal and provincial governments. While PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan asserted that the President would give his party a chance to form a federal government as they had the support of the largest number of elected MNAs. On one hand, a delegation of MQM-P traveled to Lahore to meet PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif and other party officials.

Bilawal on Saturday claimed that without the support of his party, no government can be formed at the center and two provinces – Punjab and Balochistan.

The PML-N consultative committee held an important meeting on Saturday to discuss the consultative process with like-minded parties to form governments at the center and provinces.

Shehbaz presided over a meeting where issues related to government formation were discussed. He informed the meeting about contacts with various parties as per instructions of Nawaz Sharif. The party leadership congratulated the party president for winning the February 8 election. The meeting was attended by Senator Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, Attaullah Tarar and Khawaja Imran Nazir.

On the other hand, PPP Chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari said that no one can form a government in the centre, Punjab or Balochistan without the support of his party and PPP’s door is open to any political party for dialogue as reconciliation is vital for political stability.

“PPP has so far not formally worked with PMLN, PTI or any other party. When the results are final, the central executive committee of the party that nominated me as a candidate will meet again and formulate a course of action,” he said while answering questions from reporters from various private television channels. Responding to a question about meetings with political colleagues, President Bilawal further said that he could not confirm any such meeting. “This is a preliminary stage; PPP is still waiting for the results to be confirmed. Decisions of independent candidates are also awaited. Once the results are final, we will be able to work with other political parties, be it PMLN, PTI or other independent candidates,” he said.

The president of the PPP said that it is in the country’s interest that “we forge a political consensus on the way forward in the party’s central executive committee.”

“We will try to form this political consensus and we would like to bring some positive changes for the people of the country. If the government is formed, then we will not be able to solve the problems of the people without resorting to political toxicity,” he said.

When asked, he said that there has been no contact with lawyer Gohar so far, as the PPP is waiting for the counting to be completed. “We are in contact with some independent candidates. As far as the PTI bloc is concerned, no contact has been made,” he said.

Responding to another question, Bilawal said that going by the current numbers, Punjab Chief Minister would not be successful without PPP votes. He said that the result so far shows that the PPP is the only party that has representation in all four provinces. “The PPP is a party that connects all the four provinces,” he added.

Bilawal said Nawaz Sharif spoke in haste. “He should wait for the final results like us, but in the end it is his and his party’s right,” he said.

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