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Can Zardari finish off the PML-N government?

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Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari hinted that he can finish off the PML-N government whenever he wants to. He said this while speaking very briefly at the Lahore Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) rally yesterday. All major parties of the opposition; Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), and others; attended the rally, demanding the resignation of the Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and his Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.

Asif Ali Zardari said that PPP has always supported democracy, they had even bailed out Nawaz Sharif’s government, which was about to collapse in the summer of 2014 when PTI and PAT were holding a dharna in Islamabad but now he believes that in the present scenario, Nawaz Sharif is a threat to democracy and he is compelling the PPP government to act, but they are showing restraint.

PML-N intends to keep PPP in good humor because a deal would always be possible with the PPP but PTI on the other hand remains their real challenge in Punjab and the rest of Pakistan.

Political analysts have commented on Asif Ali Zardari’s statement, they think that Zardari is right because he holds all the cards in the balance of power at the moment, he can take the decision to dissolve the PPP government in Sindh, and also resign from their seats in the National Assembly (NA) thus creating a crisis. The analysts think that Imran Khan and PTI have always been sitting on the edge; they are not very interested in the continuation of the parliament.

Read more: Will Nawaz learn a democratic lesson from Zardari?

However, there is a trust deficit between the PTI and the PPP, Imran Khan would not be able to resign from the assemblies on his own but if PPP takes the initiative and resigns from the assemblies, PTI and Imran Khan are bound to follow them. Thus, the political analysts think that the balance of power is clearly held by Asif Ali Zardari.

After today’s convention in Lahore all of PML-N’s firepower is directed against PTI whereas the criticism against PPP has been lackluster despite the fact that PPP holds the power card.

PPP senior leaders Qamar Zaman Kaira the ex-information minister and the constitutional expert Senator Aitzaz Ahsan while talking to a prominent television anchor, Waseem Badami, on ARY, explained that while resigning from the assemblies is not unconstitutional, it is not a part of PPP’s current agenda. ‘It is not on the cards,’ asserted Qamar Zaman Kaira.

Read more: Did Zardari’s ‘thug security’ cost Benazir Bhutto her life?

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi joined in a high-level meeting with PML-N president Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The meeting took place at Raiwind and Maryam Nawaz was also a part of it. Television sources claimed that very important consultations and decisions will be made at the meeting in view of the political threat that is created by the all party protest in Lahore yesterday, especially the position that is taken by the ex-president Asif Ali Zardari.

Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari hinted that he can finish off the PML-N government whenever he wants to. He said this while speaking very briefly at the Lahore Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) rally yesterday.

In the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif thundered against PTI’s chief Imran Khan for insulting the parliament and for saying that they are thinking of resigning from the parliament. However, it was to be noted that all the PML-N leadership was soft on the PPP. PML-N is of the opinion that PPP is not the real threat; they understand that PPP is using rhetoric against the Sharif family to leverage its position in Punjab and to flow along with the public opinion and the media narrative in view of the decision given by the SC of Pakistan.

Read more: Nawaz wants Martial Law: Zardari

They are not a real challenge as they don’t have a strong position in Punjab. PML-N’s real opponent is PTI. After today’s convention in Lahore all of PML-N’s firepower is directed against PTI whereas the criticism against PPP has been lackluster despite the fact that PPP holds the power card. PML-N intends to keep PPP in good humor because a deal would always be possible with the PPP but PTI on the other hand remains their real challenge in Punjab and the rest of Pakistan.


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