Zardari in Punjab to sort rifts with PML-N

Zardari in Punjab to sort rifts with PML-N

PPP having Rifts with PML-N

Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Punjab on Tuesday to sort out his party’s rift with the PML-N over their ‘desired’ ministries in the province. Sources said he devised a joint strategy with his senior coalition partner for next month’s by-polls that are set to happen on 20 provincial seats in the country’s largest province.

CM Punjab Hamza Shehbaz called on Zardari at Bilawal House in Bahria Town to discuss in detail the above matters.

Asif Ali Zardari Meets Hamza Shehbaz

“The PML-N and PPP leadership agreed to jointly contest July 17 by-polls on 20 Punjab Assembly seats,” Attauallah Tarar, the minister who was privy to the Zardari-Hamza meeting, said.

Regarding their differences over allocation of ministries, Tarar said: “If there was any issue, it has been sorted out.”

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When probed about the reasons for not giving portfolios to the eight members of Hamza’s cabinet and the lag in its expansion, the minister said: “Both are set to be finalised before this month’s provincial budget.”

The PPP’s Punjab chapter complained to Zardari that Shehbaz was reluctant to give the party lawmakers in Punjab their ‘decided share’. The PPP has seven seats in the Punjab Assembly and they were promised four ministries and two adviserships by Hamza Shehbaz.

Non-Allocations of Portfolios

Sources say that the party is interested in the portfolios of communication & works and finance, but the thinking in PML-N circles is that key seats should not go to the PPP. In the current eight-member cabinet, only two members are from the PPP. PML-N sources say that they remain ‘inactive’ in the cabinet meetings due to the non-allocation of portfolios.

PPP parliamentary party leader Hasan Murtaza has been pushing Hamza to give him the ‘senior minister slot’, but to no avail. 

The PML-N has its own internal problems as well, making things difficult for them. PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz also wants to have her say in the formation of the cabinet, especially in the allocation of portfolios. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, wants his son to give preference to those who were a part of his cabinet.

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