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PPP under pressure to join federal cabinet

ISLAMABAD  -  Key government partner, the Paki­stan People’s Party (PPP), is under immense pressure from its main ruling ally Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to join the federal cabinet.

The PPP so far has got its nomi­nee elected as the President and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in the centre and it is leading the Balochistan provincial government with the help of the PML-N and other allies.

The Senate chairman’s slot is also on the cards for the PPP if the initial agreement between the PPP and the PML-N remains in force. The PPP is also likely to get its nominee appointed as the Punjab Governor in the days to come.

Apart from these constitutional appointments, the PPP has so far resisted the PML-N offer to join the federal cabinet which, according to the PML-N, will divide the respon­sibility when the new general elec­tions are called in five years.

The PML-N insists the PPP and the PML-N should take credit for the achievements and discredits when the two parties complete the five-year term.

The PPP claims it will remain part of the government and will give a ‘free hand’ to the PML-N to deliver before the next polls. This, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari believes, can be done by allowing the PML-N to name its own federal cabinet where Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif will be more comfortable to communicate.

PPP sources, however, indicate that in contrast to Bilawal’s initial declaration of provid­ing “support without any share in the federal govern­ment,” the PPP might join the cabinet in the second phase.

The PPP has already emphasized the commitment to back critical votes to ensure political stability and the formation of a functioning government.

There has been an understanding between the PPP and the PML-N to safeguard the coalition government against potential no-confidence mo­tions or impediments throughout its entire tenure.

And there are indications that the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) is also exploring avenues to join the government, indicating a broader landscape of political realignments and cooperative strategies shaping the contours of Pakistan’s upcoming governance framework.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), another ally of the PML-N, has already joined the federal cabinet and is expecting to retain its Governor in Sindh. Whether the incumbent Kamran Tessori will be allowed to continue or will there be a new appointment from within the MQM is a decision still awaited.

The PPP meanwhile is ‘seriously’ considering the option of joining the federal cabinet. The PPP previously had shared the cabinet slots with the PML-N in the 16-month coali­tion government before the recent general elections.

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