ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday said that a new prime minister will be at the helm before the much anticipated legislation to determine army chief’s tenure.

Speaking to journalists here after meeting his father – Asif Ali Zardari – at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Bilawal claimed that PM Imran Khan was on his way out.

“Before the crucial legislation, I am seeing a new PM. This PM (Imran Khan) doesn’t seem serious in legislation. The PPP is positive but the PM seems otherwise,” he said.

Bilawal said the attitude of the government does not demonstrate it wanted reconciliation with the opposition for the legislation about the tenure of army chief. “I don’t think the government will be able to take the opposition into confidence on the legislation issue,” he said.

Bilawal said everyone was waiting for the apex court’s detailed order to get guidance. “As I understand, the long order will give clear guidelines as it did for the parliamentarians on its ruling about the 18th Amendment,” he added.

He said that he a PPP lawyer, whom he consulted and several other lawyers were saying that a constitutional Amendment will have to be made. “The situation will be clearer, however, once the long order comes,” he remarked.

Bilawal said that the reaction of “our Prime Minister after the SC verdict made it clear that he only wants to antagonise the opposition. We can keep no hope from the Prime Minister. The PPP is not ready to compromise on its manifesto. We won’t back down.”

Bilawal said the PPP had decided to move the court seeking bail of the party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds.

He said the medical board constituted by the government had pointed out diseases of Zardari, however, the former president had not allowed them to file petition seeking his bail on medical grounds.

The PPP chairman said that Zardari had heeded to the request of his sister Aseefa Bhutto to move court for his bail and now they will file a petition.

Bilawal said his party will not back away from its ideology, adding that a rally would be held in Liaquat Bagh on December 27 to observe the anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Meanwhile, Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shehbaz Sharif have authorised their parties to take a joint stance on the army chief’s legislation after consultations.

The PML-N has already cautioned that legislation on the extension of service of the Chief of the Army Staff “will not be easy” in parliament if the hostile attitude of the Imran Khan-led government towards the opposition continued.

“The way ruling PTI is provoking the opposition, it is creating hurdles in the legislation on extension for the army chief. The government wants the opposition not to cooperate with it on this matter,” PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal said. He said that the prime minister after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the extension of army chief’s service declared the opposition unpatriotic and his ministers also launched a tirade against it.

Close aides of the Bhutto and Sharif families told The Nation that they also wanted to take smaller opposition parties into confidence on the issue. The sources said the PPP and the PML-N were working to come up with a joint stance from the opposition.

The sources said the main opposition parties were already in contact and had finalised the three names for the new Chief Election Commissioner after consensus.