PML-N offers ‘massive package’ to PPP to seal coalition deal
Posts of president, Senate chairman, NA speaker, Balochistan CM, Punjab ministries put on the plate: MQM demands Sindh governorship, say in Karachi projects: Nawaz to meet Ch Shujaat today
By News Desk
February 11, 2024 09:45 AM
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has offered a “massive package” to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ranging from the post of president of Pakistan to the chief minister in Balochistan in order to seal a coalition deal between the two major political parties, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Quoting sources, the 24News TV channel reported that there was a huge development in the talks between the two parties as the PML-N offered constitutional posts to the PPP which include president, Senate chairman, National assembly speaker and Balochistan chief minister.
Besides these, the PPP was also offered a number of ministries to the Peoples Party in Punjab.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari will take final decision in this regard after holding consultations with the top party leaders.
Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari summoned a meeting of the party’s central executive committee (CEC) in Islamabad on Monday.
The CEC meeting will take place at Zardari House in Islamabad.
According to sources, the PPP leaders will deliberate on post-election scenario and the matters relating to the party position.
Zardari summons Bilawal
Asif Ali Zardari has summoned PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Lahore to discuss post-election scenario and the matters relating to a coalition government with PML-N.
Nawaz set to meet Ch Shujaat today
PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif is set to meet PML-Q President Ch Shujaat Hussain in Lahore on Sunday.
The meeting is likely to be held at Shujaat Hussain’s residence located at Zahoor Elahi Road in Gulberg area.
The veteran politician once served as interior minister in the second government of Nawaz Sharif but later they parted ways when Ch Shujaat joined hands with Pervez Musharraf.
There was no direct contact between Nawaz and Shujaat for over 20 years. Later, Shujaat supported the PDM government and his son Ch Salik was made minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
In December last year, Nawaz Sharif visited Shujaat almost after 23 years to devise future plans.
PML-Q won three National Assembly and eight Punjab Assembly seats in the Feb 8 general elections and Nawaz would seek Ch Shujaat’s support to form governments at the Centre and in Punjab.
List of MQM-P demands
PML-N and MQM-P on Sunday agreed to continue talks on the formation of government at the Centre.
The MQM-P delegation which held talks with Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders at Raiwind comprised of Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, Dr Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal.
The MQM has put up three demands to the PML-N if it wanted its support at the Centre.
The MQM wants governorship in Sindh, say in mega development projects for Karachi besides joining the consultative process for the formation of the federal government.
Both parties, however, agreed on continuing the consultation process and also inviting other parties for the formation of federal government.
Talks with MQM-P at Raiwind
After the general elections 2024 failed to produce a clear winner, political manoeuvring has hit top gear on Sunday as a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) called on PML-N top leaders in Lahore for in-depth talks aimed at cobbling together a coalition government at the Centre.
According to the PML-N website, the meeting between leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and MQM-P held at Jati Umra in Raiwind near Lahore.
PML-N Quaid and former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif led his side while the MQM-P delegation was led by Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Senior Vice-President Maryam Nawaz, Khawaja Saad Rafique and other leaders also participated in the important political parleys.
The high-level talks were aimed at laying focus on government formation. Earlier on their arrival at Raiwand, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif along with other party leaders welcomed the MQM senior leaders.
Political manoeuvring in top gear
After the general elections 2024 failed to produce a clear winner, political manoeuvring has hit top gear as political parties try to cobble together a coalition government in order to rule with prime focus on wooing independent candidates.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, known as master of political deal-brokering, is in Lahore and a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is also in Lahore for what appears to be in-depth parleys which may produce a new ruling coalition.
The PPP and MQM along with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have won a combined strength of 146 newly-elected members of the National Assembly. PML-N has grabbed 75, PPP 54 and MQM has 17.
If the parties of these leaders succeeded in knitting together a coalition then the 101 independent winners mostly backed by the PTI stand no chance to stake claim at the Centre.
As the elections threw up a hung verdict, the country now faces days of political horse-trading as parties try to put together leaders to prove majority. With such a split, the big question now rests on who will be able to form a government in Pakistan, a country of 241 million people which has suffered a turbulent two years with political instability, an economy on the verge of default and rising internal security challenges.
Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) defied a months-long crackdown that crippled campaigning and forced candidates to run as independents with a combined showing that still challenged their rivals.
Lahore to see busy Sunday
Former president Asif Ali Zardari is staying in Lahore, the country’s political capital and MQM delegation consisting of senior leaders is holding detailed talks with PML-N leaders. The PML-N is also in contact with JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Earlier this week, former premier Nawaz Sharif had invited political parties, except for the PTI, to come together and form a coalition government, claiming that the PML-N had emerged as the “single-largest party” post elections. He had tasked brother Shehbaz Sharif with the job of reaching out to the chief of PPP, JUI-F and MQM-P.
Speaking to a private TV channel Saturday night, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that Shehbaz Sharif and Asif Zardari held initial consultations, but both would consult their parties regarding the formation of a coalition government.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, however, said that contacts and discussions have begun with other parties such as the PPP and MQM-P. She said the mandate of all parties would need to be respected.
Aurangzeb said the PML-N would not exclude “other parties” from the process since they were a “political reality”.
She said the party is thinking about why it has lost from its traditional strongholds, adding the party was not “insensitive or oblivious” to it. She said the PML-N was going through the process of introspection on the election results.
JUI calls for protests
JUI-F has announced to “launch a protest campaign” against the “rigging”, asking the workers to stage a sit-in on the main highways across Sindh and block the key road links of the province.
Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) convened a meeting of the Central and Provincial General Councils on February 14 to decide the future action plan.
Spokesman Aslam Ghauri announced that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will chair the meeting.
The meeting will discuss the situation arising out February 8 elections, the party spokesman in a statement said.
He claimed that the JUI-F leadership while expressing reservations over polls results, felt that an attempt had been made to push them to the wall.
Earlier, JUI-F Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, in a statement, said leaders of national mainstream parties were forcibly defeated. Mobile phone service was shut on the polling day to achieve the desired result.
Bilawal sees no govt formation sans PPP support
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has asserted that the federal, Punjab and Balochistan governments cannot be formed without the PPP. Talking to a private TV channel, Bilawal said the PPP had representation in all the provinces, adding it would be premature to say who is forming the government. “We don’t know the whole count nor have independents announced their decisions,” Bilawal added. “No government will be able to solve the public’s problems without addressing the political toxicity.”
He was of the view that it would be beneficial for the country if a political consensus was formed between all the parties. “The central executive committee of PPP had named me as the PM candidate but if we have to change that another meeting needs to be called and we will decide on how to move forward,” Bilawal concluded.
Reporters Rao Dilshad Hussain, Rozina Ali and Hassan Ali