ISLAMABAD - At a time when the mistrust between the ruling Pakistan People’s Party and main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) is at its peak, high-level contacts were made from the government side with the opposition inviting them to evolve some consensus mechanism for the early Senate and general elections.

But PML-N has neither accepted nor rejected the offer, however, the sources in the Opposition said that as they were bitten several times in the past by the ruling PPP, so they would not fall prey to their trap this time.

The sources in the government confirmed that some high-level contacts were made with the PML-N leaders through some of their leaders who have close contacts in PPP ranks, like MNA Kh. Asif has, and conveyed that PPP was ready to enter into some sort of dialogue to workout a strategy for the future elections and the interim set-up and its composition. But there was no immediate reply on it and they were expecting the reply by a week or so, the sources in PPP anticipated.

On the other hand, the people close to PML-N leadership were quite clear on the subject and said that Nawaz Sharif would not enter into any dialogue with the PPP on the fate and future of the next general elections.

The PML-N leadership was of the view that how would they trust the same Asif Ali Zardari who had ditched them several times right from the restoration of the judges down to the passage of the consensus National Accountability Commission Bill from the National Assembly.

The sources further said that PML-N would not accept the elections with Zardari sitting in the Presidency and would prefer to opt for other options to have free, fair and transparent elections under some neutral set-up, which the PML-N leadership did not accept under President Zardari.

The sources in the PML-N informed that Nawaz was looking towards the Supreme Court’s decisions in a couple of very serious cases - memo controversy and the NRO implementation case - and hoped that President Zardari would automatically be ousted from the office and hence would pave the way for establishment of some neutral set-up under the supervision of the apex court to hold free and fair elections.

The PML-N sources further said that they would also oppose the early holding of Senate elections and would insist that the same would be held as per schedule in coming March.

The sources further said that Nawaz was not ready to give any further concession to Zardari and would unlikely to be trapped in the fresh snare of the PPP.

In another major development Jamiat-I-Ulema-I-Islam chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman has also approached Nawaz, ostensibly, to express his support to him in his demand for early general elections, but actually he attempted to convince Nawaz to join other stakeholders in the formation of some consensus interim set-up, which would conduct the next general elections.

The sources close to Fazl said that Nawaz had not responded to the JUI-F chief’s proposition and inner circles in the N-League considered Moulana as a linchpin of President Zardari so the party would unlikely to give any serious consideration to his proposal.