The Government of Punjab allowed Monday Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to meet imprisoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat Jail. Analysts are mulling over the possible agenda to be discussed by the two leaders.
The Government of Punjab allowed Monday Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to meet imprisoned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif in Kot Lakhpat Jail.
There is a predominant view that Bilawal is meeting Sharif to convince him to support the rallies and anti-government movement. however, some analysts also believe that Bilawal will assess the position of the PML-N president before taking any final decision about quitting from the assemblies.
The young PPP leader will meet the Opposition Leader in the National Assembly tomorrow and offer his condolences to the latter over the demise of his (Shehbaz’s) mother Begum Shamim Akhtar. The meeting will likely take place between 2pm and 5pm.
PPP leaders Sherry Rehman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Qamar Zaman Kaira will accompany Mr Bhutto Zardari during his meeting with Mr Sharif.
It is noteworthy that Qamar Zaman Kaira had written a letter to the jail superintendent seeking approval for the party chairman’s meeting with the opposition leader.
On December 11, Mr Bhutto-Zardari met PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz at the latter’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore and extended condolences over her grandmother’s death. Shehbaz and his son Hamza returned to Kot Lakhpat Jail after their six-day parole to participate in the last rites of the PML-N president’s mother ended on December 3.
Shehbaz Sharif, establishment’s blue-eyed man?
A few months ago, Shehbaz Sharif said that just a month before the General Elections 2018, two renowned journalists approached him with a message regarding his chances of becoming the next prime minister.
The PML-N leader, in an interview with an Urdu daily, claimed that a month before the July election, names of potential cabinet members were being finalized in his meetings with ‘powerful circles’.
Shahbaz Sharif, often considered the establishment’s man, said that his relations with the Chaudhries of PML-Q are almost neutral. He said that there are no feelings of enmity between them anymore but there’s no talk of any joint political strategy with them as yet.
Shehbaz is long known for his pro-establishment views in his party. There have been some reports suggesting his differences with Nawaz and Maryam over the nature of the party’s relationship with the country’s powerful establishment.
Maryam was leading a segment of the party with the slogan of ‘vote ko izat do.’ She slammed the establishment for political engineering and getting favorable verdicts from courts. However, later on, Shehbaz’s approach appeared to have prevailed as the party not only offered unconditional support to amend the law to give extension in service to the Army Chief but also Maryam went silent.
“Shehbaz Sharif is the establishment’s, next blue-eyed man. PM Imran is likely to remain in his seat but Shehbaz is certain to have an invisible role to reorganize his party to become a new force in Punjab,” a senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told GVS. Analysts in Islamabad are mulling over the question; is PM Imran and his government are aware of what is going on in national politics? Do they consider Shahbaz Sharif a looming political threat?