ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party supremo Asif Ali Zardari is ready to work with any party if his party wins enough seats to form the federal government, close aides said. PPP sources told The Nation that the party was expecting a better performance but believed it would clearly fall short of the magic numbers to form a government on its own.
“Zardari is optimistic to win as a single largest party and lead a coalition government but is realistic enough not to see the PPP sweeping the polls. In that case the PPP will need partners and Zardari is ready to work with any party except Imran Khan (Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf). The PTI factions can be partners,” said a close aide of the PPP Co-Chairman. He said Zardari was busy in Punjab to improve the PPP’s position. “The situation is much better in South Punjab. We need to find some share in central Punjab too. Sindh is secure for us,” he added. Another senior PPP leader said Zardari will also work in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to boost the PPP’s chances in general elections.
“We have good ties with the nationalist parties in Balochistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhaw, we have good relationship with ANP (Awami National Party) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal), so we hope to clinch some share,” he maintained. Zardari meanwhile, has intensified his political activities in Lahore. The party has called a meeting of its National Assembly ticket-holders of 2018 today (June 6). The PPP supremo scheduled likely to discuss the upcoming election strategy with the ticket holders. After extending his stay in the Punjab capital, Zardari has directed the party to hold a large public gathering in Lahore on June 21. Previously, Zardari had ruled out any possibility of contesting general elections in alliance with Pakistan Democratic Movement but the coalition partners are working on seat adjustments. To strengthen the PPP in Punjab, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has decided to contest the election as a candidate to become a member of the National Assembly from Rahim Yar Khan. The PPP Chairman decided to contest the election from Rahim Yar Khan at the invitation of PPP South Punjab President and former Punjab Governor Ahmed Mehmood. As the general elections become a topic of discussion, Bilawal yesterday nominated party’s spokesperson Murtaza Wahab for the Karachi mayor slot and Salman Murad for deputy mayor.