ISLAMABAD - The covert efforts on the part of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to win over the support of Pakistan People’s Party or at least distance it from the extreme position it has taken against the government on the Panama leaks probe seems evaporating.

Sources in both ruling coalition as well as in the opposition parties showed that some covert efforts had been made since the Panama leaks revelations to soften the PPP stiff position against the government but so far no such effort had yielded any result because the position taken by PPP leaders against the government were turning hard and hard by every passing day and at times it seemed even harsher than the PTI, considered the worst opponent of the ruling party.

Last month, when the Prime Minister had flown to London for medical check-up, rumours were rife about the Nawaz-Zardari meeting but no such thing had happened in London because Zardari knew well the fallout of any such meeting which could have surely ruined the PPP politics back home.

The PPP leadership knew it well that any U-turn or even a little retreat from the stance taken by the party’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at this critical juncture would further marginalize the party, a party leader taking to The Nation said.

The sources in the ruling PML-N admitted that the party leadership was worried over the extreme position taken by the PPP Chairman who had set the course for rest of the party leadership as well, some of whom having soft corner for the ruling alliance.

These sources admitted that PML-N wanted to revive the politics of reconciliation and Charter of Democracy signed by PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif with late PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto in London when both were in exile in early 2000.

The sources in PPP said that it was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had abandoned rather flouted the Charter of Democracy and buried the politics of reconciliation and consensus when he had preferred an Army General over PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari.

PPP leaders were also critical of PML-N leadership for alleged witch-hunting of their leaders in Sindh particularly the implication of Mir Munawar Talpur, the brother-in-law of Asif Ali Zardari, in a mega corruption case had greatly annoyed him (Zardari).

Similarly, the arrest of Dr. Asim Hussain by Rangers had also widened the chasm between the already broken apart relations between the two major political forces - PPP, PML-N, the sources in PPP said.

By and large, the PPP leaders refuted any understanding with the ruling party on Panama leaks and said that PPP wanted to take the matter to its logical conclusion.

Though the PML-N leadership had refrained the party leaders from directly hitting back at the PPP criticism on the government but in a last few days the ruling party leaders had also unleashed their tirade on central PPP leaders realising the diminishing chances of any rapprochement.

The sources in the ruling PML-N said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had talked to Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman to approach PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari to help defuse the tension between the PPP and PML-N and reportedly he had talked to Zardari as well.

But a JUI-F spokesman said that he was not in knowledge of any such contact. He, however, admitted his party’s good relations with PPP and referred to the last Senate elections which both the parties had contested together.

The sources in PPP said that the party policy on Panama leaks and other matters has been taken with consensus and the impression of any rift between Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with his father Asif Ali Zardari over the party’s policy on Panama leaks or any other matter is baseless and misleading.