PML-N, PPP strike deal after give-and-take talks

PPP’s Zardari to be president, PML-N’s Shehbaz to become PM for second term n Both parties say they have required numbers to form govt n NA Speaker will be from PML-N while PPP to get Deputy Speaker slot n PPP won’t join federal or Punjab cabinet n PPP to get Balochistan CM, Punjab Governor n Senate Chairman seat to go to PPP n Zardari calls Shehbaz Sharif ‘Prince Charming’.


ISLAMABAD  -  PPP-Parliamentarian leader and former President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday said that his “prince charming” Shehbaz Sharif will soon become Prime Minister of Pakistan as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) sealed a power-sharing deal after days-long give-and-take talks.

Following the landmark agree­ment, Asif Ali Zardari is slated to assume the presidency, signal­ling a notable resurgence of the party at the national level. PPP will also claim the influential position of Chairman Senate, solidifying their growing influ­ence within the upper echelons of governance.

The prestigious position of Prime Minister will be held by the PML-N. The post of Chief Minister of Balochistan will be allocated to the PPP. The Speaker of the National Assembly will come from the PML-N, further consolidating their position in the legislative arena. 

However, the Chairman of the Senate, a crucial parliamentary role, will be appointed from the PPP, ensuring a balanced dis­tribution of authority. Deputy Chairman Senate is expected to be a PML-N nominee while Dep­uty Speaker National Assembly will be nominated by the PPP.

The PPP has so far insisted it will not join the federal or Pun­jab provincial cabinets. They have agreed to have their mem­ber as Punjab Governor.

During a joint news confer­ence here at Zardari House, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif and PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed gratitude for the completion of the arduous work undertaken by the commit­tee formed by both parties. 

Bilawal highlighted the co­alition’s commitment to lead Pakistan out of its current crisis, buoyed by the collaborative ef­forts of the PPP and PML-N. He acknowledged the limited num­bers of the Sunni Ittehad Council, paving the way for collaboration between the PPP and PML-N. 

He prayed for divine assistance to overcome internal and exter­nal challenges, pledging to ful­fill the people’s expectations. Looking ahead, Shehbaz Shar­if emphasised the importance of effective governance and show­cased the alliance’s majority to establish a new government. 

He expressed gratitude to Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto, and other coalition partners for their unwavering cooperation. Ad­dressing the significant challeng­es facing Pakistan, Sharif out­lined the alliance’s resolve to combat terrorism, inflation, and revitalize the economy. 

He underscored the need for modern educational opportu­nities to empower the young­er generation and address the nation’s debt burden. Zardari echoed the sentiment of unity and commitment to Pakistan’s welfare, emphasizing the col­lective endeavor of the PPP and PML-N for the betterment of the nation and future generations. He vowed to support his “Prince Charming” Shehbaz Sharif as the PM.

Earlier in the day, Bilawal had urged the PML-N to show flexi­bility as defiance will lead to no­where.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhut­to-Zardari Tuesday said that all the political parties must unite in order to address current challenges and save the feder­ation, democracy, parliamenta­ry system, and the economy. He also urged the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to show flexi­bility as defiance will lead to no­where.

While speaking to journalists after attending the hearing of the presidential reference regard­ing the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal stressed the im­portance of coalition-building and compromise among political parties to address the nation’s challenges effectively.

“In a democracy, this process is termed compromise, implying that political parties must en­gage in give-and-take to form al­liances,” he explained. “Dialogue and compromise are the only means to navigate this situation.”

Bilawal highlighted that the electorate did not grant a ma­jority to any single party, em­phasising the need for consen­sus among stakeholders. While acknowledging PTI as the tech­nically “single largest party,” Bi­lawal criticised its reluctance to engage in dialogue. He reiter­ated PPP’s willingness to con­verse with those approaching them but emphasised doing so on their terms.

“The people are saying that the parties should get together, and this is known as ‘compromise’ in politics. The people of Pakistan have given their verdict and now the political parties will have to get together to steer the coun­try out of difficulties, save our federation, democracy, parlia­mentary system and the econo­my. The only way to achieve this is through dialogue and compro­mise,” he said.

Bilawal attributed the govern­ment formation delay to the per­ceived lack of seriousness from the dialogue committee, empha­sising its detrimental effect on democracy. He stressed the ur­gency of resolving the impasse for stability and the incoming government’s efficacy.

“The PPP is unwavering in its stance and not in haste,” Bilaw­al asserted, cautioning against a dangerous stalemate if others did not reconsider their posi­tions, which would be detrimen­tal to democracy, the economy, and political stability.

He said the sooner the govern­ment formation is completed, the better it is for the country be­cause questions are being raised over the delay which is due to the non-seriousness of the oth­er side.

“The PTI (Pakistan Teh­reek-e-Insaf) is technically the largest party but they do not want to talk to anyone. The sec­ond largest is the PML-N and the PPP has decided to be receptive to it since it was approached by them. We will give our vote to the PML-N on our own terms. The delay in the government for­mation is the country’s loss. PPP is steadfast on its philosophy and if the other side is not ready to change its stance then a very dangerous stalemate is expected which will not be in favour of the Pakistani democracy, economy, federation and political stability,” he elaborated.

On the Bhutto case, Bilawal said that one remedy is the ju­dicial reference and other ave­nues are also available. “If there is no time limitation for those aggrieved by a murder to file a case, then an FIR (First Informa­tion Report) against the conspir­ators too can be filed? What can stop the judiciary from pursu­ing Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case then,” he contended.

He added: “We hope that by this judicial reference we can correct our history as we want to see our institutions blotless. Hence, the legal process could also be explored through a FIR. Responding to another question, Chairman PPP said that he is not impatient regarding the hearing of this case. Journalists should present evidence before level­ling any allegation against me.” He expressed hope that the jus­tice denied to his grandmother would be served to his grandson.

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