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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Will PPP form the next government?

Asif Ali Zardari has taken on to himself the task of bargaining for a future alliance strong enough to form the next government. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has reportedly presented a list of electables to the former president. Many of them had abandoned the party after 2013 but are now ready to return to the PPP fold.

Some media reports claim that the new alliance is being made under the leadership of former President Asif Ali Zardari. Sources claim that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) seems to be on its way to form an alliance in Punjab which may help it to form the next government.

In this regard, Punjab Assembly Speaker and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi called on former president Asif Ali Zardari here on Tuesday. A press release issued after the meeting said both sides discussed matters of mutual interest and national political scene without giving any more details.

However, according to Dawn, Pakistan’s most respected newspaper, the two sides agreed to meet again shortly over a dinner to be attended by PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat too. They claimed that the reestablished contacts between the two former allies, which ruled the country from 2008 to 2013, are aimed at forming a future alliance along with the Awami National Party, a third ally of the past coalition government, besides other nationalist parties.

Though officially Pervaiz Elahi denies any differences with the PTI, his son Moonis Elahi leaves no chance to criticise various policies of the government in publicly, particularly on social media.

In another move, Asif Zardari, who is also co-chairperson of PPP, has summoned party’s chief organiser in Punjab Raja Pervez Ashraf to Bilawal House in Lahore.

Read more: PTI goes to the SC over PML-N foreign funding

A PPP leader, who requested not to be named, told Dawn that Mr Zardari had taken on to himself the task of bargaining for a future alliance strong enough to form the next government, directing his son and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to look after other matters for the time being. The source said Mr Ashraf would be carrying a list of electables, many of whom had abandoned the party after 2013 but are now ready to return to the PPP fold.

PPP goodbyes PML-N?

Some quarters are seeing snap polls by the year-end, and PPP seems to be interested to sit in the driving seat in Islamabad. Political analysts believe that ‘the desire to be the next ruling party’ kept the PPP away from giving tough time to the current ruling party. “PPP was always at the establishment’s end,” a PPP leader told GVS.  The leader, who wished not to be named, also believes that “to form the next government, the PPP will have to part ways with the PML-N.”

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah revealed that former president Asif Ali Zardari, during a meeting of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), had said he is weak and cannot “battle the establishment”.

The PML-N leader, speaking on Geo News’ programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, said he was unable to understand what Zardari meant by that statement.

It is worth mentioning that sources and media reports said Zardari during the meeting asked Nawaz to return to Pakistan before the joint opposition could go with the nuclear option of resigning from the assemblies in order to mount pressure on the PTI-led government.

The crucial session of the PDM was held amid divisions within the alliance over the issue of submitting resignations from the assemblies at a time when its planned long march was just two weeks away.

Zardari, who like Nawaz addressed the meeting virtually, reportedly told the PML-N chief: “Mian sahab, we will hand over the resignations to you when you return home.”

Nawaz has been living in London since November 2019 after he was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.

Read More: PDM: Are JUI-F and PML-N going toward minus-PPP formula?

Zardari further said if Nawaz wanted the opposition parties to resign en masse, “then not only us, but everyone will have to go to jail”. “Nawaz Sharif sahib, return to the country along with Ishaq Dar; we will fight together,” the PPP leader was quoted as saying during the meeting.