PPP- PML-N war of words gets bitter

ISLAMABAD  -  The verbal feud be­tween the Paki­stan People’s Par­ty (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) is getting bitter as the nation awaits the announcement about general elections. There has been no official commitment about the time of holding elections but it is believed the polls could be held by February after the delimita­tion process is completed. The PPP and the PML-N were close allies just last month when the National Assem­bly was dissolved three days ahead of its five-year term. PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari served as the foreign minister and several other PPP leaders also held cabinet slots under the then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – the PML-N President.

Until the first week of the August, the two parties ap­preciated each other’s per­formance in the coalition government which included about a dozen of political par­ties with different ideologies.

But now only the PML-N and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Is­lam (Fazl) – both part of the Pakistan Democratic Move­ment - are apparent allies with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement seen as a partner.

Over the weekend, after an extensive two-day meeting, the PPP Central Executive Committee (CEC) shed light on the party’s concerns and future strategies. One of the key topics discussed during this meeting was the PPP’s apprehensions regarding the caretaker setup. PPP su­premo Asif Ali Zardari in­tends to consult his political allies about the party’s con­cerns and seek guidance on navigating the intricate po­litical landscape. These dis­cussions are expected to re­volve around issues such as the alleged halt in devel­opment projects in Sindh and reported bureaucratic non-cooperation in Punjab.

The PPP meeting also delved into the considerable influence and resources al­legedly allocated to PML-N members within the caretak­er setup, including access to development funds and cab­inet positions. During the two-day meeting of the PPP’s CEC in Lahore, Bilawal Bhut­to Zardari strongly criticized PML-N supremo and former Prime Minister - Nawaz Shar­if. Bilawal expressed firm op­position to discussions in­volving PML-N and Nawaz Sharif in the future govern­ment. Bilawal also refused to recognize Nawaz Sharif as a potential future prime min­ister. He pointed out that the current government is led by PML-N, and individuals lean­ing towards the PPP are fac­ing obstacles, including the demolition of houses belong­ing to PPP supporters. He stressed the need for a lev­el playing field, stating that they do not seek power but request unhindered progress. PPP leaders Faisal Karim Kun­di and Nadeem Afzal Chan also took jabs at PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique, who had claimed forming an alli­ance with MQM-P and JUI-F. They emphasized the histori­cal support given by PPP lead­ers to PML-N. PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi responded by stating that PML-N had nev­er proposed contesting elec­tions together with PPP and discussed the achievements during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure, including significant progress in electricity generation. He maintained that Nawaz Sharif would become the country’s premier for the fourth time and the urged party workers to prepare to welcome him back. Khawaja Saad Rafique responded to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s statements against PML-N, referring to them as election stunts, and accused the PPP leadership of sup­porting ‘Project Imran.’

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