By-election: PPP, PML-N pledge to bring back PTI’s 20 de-seated MPAs to Punjab Assembly

LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz along with his cabinet ministers visited Bilawal House in Lahore on Tuesday where he attended a luncheon hosted by PPP supremo and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

A host of issues including the upcoming bye-elections in Punjab, portfolios of Punjab ministers, inter-provincial border management and promotion of export-oriented agriculture came under discussion during the meeting which was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Sources privy to the huddle confided to The Nation the Hamza Shehbaz sought PPP’s support in the coming bye-polls on 20 Punjab Assembly seats which fell vacant due to de-seating of the PTI dissidents who had voted for Hamza Shehbaz Sharif in the chief minister’s election held in April last.

The PPP president reportedly obliged Hamza by agreeing to forgo his party’s right on these seats. He gave his word that the PPP will neither seek any seat adjustment with the PML-N nor field its candidates against these seats to ensure that all the ex-lawmakers contesting election on PML-N tickets return to the Assembly without any difficulty. He also pledged to support the PML-N candidates in all these constituencies.

 

On the issue of allocation of portfolios to the PPP ministers, the sources said that no breakthrough could be achieved as Hamza Shehbaz sought time to settle the issue saying that he was waiting for a green signal from the party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif in this regard. It merits mention here that the PPP is laying its claim on the departments of irrigation, agriculture and energy to set the things right in these sectors.

 

Sources said that the issue of prevailing lawlessness in the kutcha areas of Punjab and Sindh also came up for discussion during the meeting to improve the law-and-order situation there. The two sides agreed to constitute a joint task force to oversee the inter-provincial border management issues to restore order along the provincial border.

 

According to sources, a detailed discussion also took place on how to increase the country’s exports which witnessed sharp decline during the PTI’s government. In this regard, Asif Ali Zardari gave useful tips to the ministers regarding export-oriented agriculture production and irrigation matters.

| Asif Zardari hosts luncheon for Hamza Shehbaz in Lahore

A media release issued by the DGPR regarding this meeting said that the two sides discussed political situation, matters of mutual interest and the working relationship between the coalition partners.

 

Asif Ali Zardari congratulated Hamza Shehbaz on assuming the office of Chief Minister and there was agreement over jointly contesting the by-elections. Talking on the occasion, Hamza Shehbaz stressed that cooperation between the two parties was key in the journey of serving the people. “The PPP is our ally, and we would work together. Consultations would continue to further improve the working relationship”, he said.

 

Provincial Ministers Atta Tarar, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Ali, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Imran Goraya, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sharjeel Memon, Dr Asim Hussain, Provincial Ministers Syed Ali Haider Gilani and Syed Hassan Murtaza were also present on the occasion.

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