ISLAMABAD - While the opposition parties are raising reservations on Pakistan-China economic corridor, provincial autonomy, national finance commission award and election reforms, politicians have expressed the hope that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will take all political forces into confidence on these matters soon.

“Prime Minister is expected to take all parties into confidence on different national issues particularly the economic corridor, NFC and others,” PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said this while talking to media after a dinner hosted by Asif Ali Zardari in honour of political leaders from both the government and opposition sides, at the Zardari House on Thursday.

Farhat got the impression of the PM taking parties into confidence on these issues out of what the government side’s men expressed during the discussion at the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Yousuf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Khursheed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Sherry Rehman, Rehman Malik, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Saleem Mandviwala, federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Ahsan Iqbal and Pervez Rashid; Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Senator Talha Mahmmod from JUI, PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Shafqat Mahmood, Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q, Mahmood Achakzai of PkMAP and Israrullah Zehri and Ihsan Shah of BNP-Awami, Aftab Sherpao and Ghulam Ahmed Bilour. However, MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were not present in the meeting.

The event turned into an informal forum of parties across the political divide to discuss issues of national importance. The meeting also discussed performance of National Action Plan (NAP).

“Zardari has taken an initiative to discuss the important matters with all political parties, as matters were not being decided with consensus,” Farhat said, adding the leaders discussed different matters in length.

Talking to media, Qamar Zaman Kaira said there was a need to handle the matters with consensus. “Government side also presented its stance over the reservations of opposition parties,” he added.

Zardari, in his opening remarks in the meeting, stressed the need for developing political consensus on national issues.

“Without broad-based political ownership of mega economic projects and policies, the economy will not make progress,” he added.

Zardari, who is in Islamabad for last couple days, called upon the government to come clean on the route to be developed on priority basis of the economic corridor project together with a list of all the developmental projects including power plants as well as the location of economic zones to be set up along the route.

Taking the leaders into confidence, Zardari said there was a need to respect each other’s mandate.

Sources said opposition parties asked the government representatives to take them into confidence about various economic projects.

Farhatullah Babar said before the dinner a meeting of the leaders consumed over two hours.