ISLAMABAD - PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is set to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind today (Saturday) to resolve political impasse in the country, yet the former is likely to cut down his party’s level of support that has so far been offered to ruling PML-N clique.
The former president, putting off his scheduled appointment, has accepted the PM’s invitation to lunch to deliberate on political turmoil but he might not go out of the way in his support to the ruling party to help it defuse the present political chaos.
Prime Minister Sharif is likely to brief about all the pros and cons of the current situation in Islamabad to Zardari with the demand to jointly resolve the issue by pushing Imran Khan in isolation, background interviews and discussion with ruling and opposition party’s lawmakers gave this impression.
PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Prime Minister Sharif telephoned Zardari in Karachi and invited him for meeting in Raiwind Saturday. The former president will be accompanied by Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani.
Sources said Asif Zardari in meetings with his party’s stalwarts in Dubai and Karachi thoroughly discussed all repercussions to support Nawaz in this deadlock situation. “They also discussed not to go out of way in their support to PML-N as the party die-hard workers might get annoyed over it,” they said. Sources added that PPP might give some advice to the prime minister to resolve the issue of Model Town (Lahore) by accepting the demand for FIR registration and also finding some scapegoat to defuse the situation.
Zardari, famous for his smart political moves, has already asked his party lawmakers to put weight behind PML-N in the parliament and reject the demand of PM’s resignation. Both the parties are seen hand in glove with each other on all anti-government’s moves in and outside the parliament.
When contacted, PPP senior leader Senator Raza Rabani said they in their previous meeting were unanimous about the supremacy of parliament and continuation of democracy. “I am optimistic this standoff will get resolved through political dialogue,” he said, however, he advised ruling party to show flexibility, adding give-and-take policy always works.
Asif Zardari had returned to Pakistan after a week-long yatra to America and around a month-long stay in Dubai. He had held meetings with PPP senior leaders including Khursheed Shah, Raza Rabbani and Farhatullah Babar about current the political situation.
Zardari recently constituted a special committee of PPP to consult leaders of other political parties on defusing the current tense political situation. The committee comprising members from different parts of the country had been tasked to immediately undertake consultation with other political parties but it failed to serve the purpose.
PPP co-chairman had also recently (on July 15) strongly criticised Nawaz Sharif apparently supporting PTI’s demand for recounting of votes in four constituencies of Punjab. “Heavens will not fall if the demand is accepted,” PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar quoted Zardari as saying in a statement.
About present situation, Zardari had also commented that judges should avoid taking any decisions of political nature. “It is also important that the judiciary is not involved in resolving political issues and honourable judges should avoid taking decisions of political nature,” he said commenting on Lahore High Court (LHC) decision that barred staging of long marches and sit-ins in Islamabad.