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Bilawal Bhutto rules out ‘free vote’ for PML-N in govt formation

Says PPP will support Nawaz League on its own terms: Deadlock in govt formation likely to stay

By News Desk

February 20, 2024 02:37 PM


Bilawal Bhutto rules out ‘free vote’ for PML-N in govt formation

TV grab

PPP Chairman and former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has maintained that political stakeholders should join hands and take a collective decision to save the parliamentary system in the country, but at the same time he ruled out any “free vote” to the PML-N which is trying to cobble together a coalition government at the Centre, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing media men outside the Supreme Court building in Islamabad on Tuesday, Bilawal Bhutto said it would have been better had the government formation process put on the fast track. “We want to see strong democracy in the country as PTI’s non-seriousness is damaging the democracy,” he added.

Bilawal said that he foresees a stalemate in government formation if others are not ready to change their stance. “I and my party are sticking to our stance, highlighting that it will not be changed at any cost. If someone else wants to change their stance, there can be progress. If they are not ready to change it, I foresee a stalemate,” Bilawal elaborated.

He, however, said this would not benefit democracy or the parliamentary system. “If I want to give the PML-N a vote, I will have to give it on my terms and not theirs,” he made it clear.

“The delay is because of non-seriousness,” Bilawal said and added this harmed democracy in Pakistan. “The faster this is resolved, it will be better for stability and the incoming government,” he said.

When asked if he was in touch with the establishment, Bilawal said: "Where is the evidence that I am involved with the establishment? Give evidence before accusing me."

He said that the people did not give a majority to just one party. "The people have given such a decision on which all the stakeholders will have to come to a consensus."

"Political stakeholders have to sit together and decide. If I have to vote for PML-N, I will do so on my terms," added Bilawal. 

He said that they did not have the majority and whatever they were doing were doing for the sake of the public. The PPP chairman said that the public wanted the political parties to run this country collectively.

“What Maulana Fazl has said he himself can give a better answer of that,” said Bilawal when asked to respond to JUI chief’s decision.

He also hoped that his grandfather would get justice from the courts, adding that it was a judicial murder and it happened during the era of a dictator. He said that the dictatorship ruled this country most of the time. “If a murder took place we cannot say that it is a ten-day old or 100-day old matter; murder is murder,” said Bilawal.

The ZAB reference, he said, was being heard and the history would be corrected through the presidential reference. “Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is the founder of the Constitution and I hope he will get justice,” he added.

He also said, ““Why should I demand compensation? I will demand justice,”. He went on to say that his mother wanted justice for her father but she could not get it and now the grandson would get justice.  He also expressed gratitude for the chief justice for hearing the reference. Bilawal hoped that such act would not take place in the future.

Bilawal's remarks on cooperation with Nawaz League come as the coordination committees of the PML-N and PPP are set to hold a sixth meeting today to reach an agreement over the formation of the future government after both parties failed to secure National Assembly seats in sufficient numbers to form their government in the Centre.

The bilateral talks have dragged on owing to the PPP's refusal to join the PML-N's cabinet despite agreeing to support its candidate for the prime minister's slot. However, in exchange for its support to the PML-N, the Bilawal-led party is eyeing key constitutional positions including the office of president for Asif Ali Zardari.

Attempts have been underway by all the major political stakeholders to rope in independent candidates and forge alliances to reach the necessary 169 seats in the 336-member lower house of parliament after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidates emerged as the largest group by winning more than 90 NA seats followed by the PML-N and PPP's 79 and 54 seats, respectively.

 


News Desk


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