LAHORE - Former president and Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday had meetings with his close aides who briefed him on the latest political situation.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, former Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek, former PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf, Dr Qayyum Soomro, Dr Asim Hussain and Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar called on the former president at Bilawal House, Lahore and exchanged views on the coming elections.

Talking to the party leaders on the occasion, Asif Zardari said that PPP’s hands were tied in 2013 elections, but now the situation was different. The PML-N, he said, was given free hand to rig the elections at that time. “Now the ground realities are different and the PML-N will come to know the realities,” he said.

Hinting at the possibility of a hung parliament after the elections, Zardari said no party will be in a position to form next government without PPP’s support. “And even if a government is formed it won’t be able to run its business without the PPP,” he said.

The PPP president also challenged the PML-N, saying that PPP will not allow the ruling party to make the next government. “The way we snatched the Senate from the PML-N, we will not let the Sharifs to form the next government in a similar way,” he observed.

He said PPP will make a comeback in Punjab because the farmers and the government employees still remembered the relief the PPP government had given to them during its last tenure. “But the PML-N government has failed to do anything for them, and they will take revenge from the ruling party in 2018 elections,” he observed.  He also told the visiting party leaders that the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto will be visiting every district in Punjab ahead of the coming elections.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Zaka Ashraf said that he had briefed the party president about the new aspirants who wanted to contest the next elections from the PPP platform. He also predicted that PPP will win a greater number of seats from South Punjab in 2018 elections.  To a question, he said Asif Zardari could be the next prime minister of Pakistan.