PML-N, PTI yet to make contact: PPP

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders on Friday said that neither the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nor the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) formally reached out to their party for scheduling a meeting between the leadership.

The PPP information secretaries, Shazia Marri and Faisal Karim Kundi, shared with Daily City news that nothing significant has happened after both the PML-N and the PTI announced that they would reach out to other political parties.

PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal announced the other day the party decided that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif would meet the heads of key allies of the previous government while the PTI Core Committee had issued a statement that it would contact various political parties from next week.

Regarding the PML-N, Shazia said that the PPP and the PML-N had worked together in the recent past but there had not yet been any formal contact by the PML-N leadership for a meeting between Nawaz and PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari or PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Shazia said that the PPP had hoped that the PML-N would cooperate on certain issues, especially, on the issue of extending help to the people affected by floods in Sindh but “the party regretted the situation when it analysed things later on”.

Perhaps, she conjectured, seats in Punjab mattered more for the PML-N than in Sindh.

Shazia said that all parties would contest polls on their respective ideologies but the PPP would keep the door of reconciliation open for others, adding that the PPP was hopeful that it would get an overwhelming majority in the coming general elections.

“We see ourselves forming the government in the Centre,” Shazia said, adding that the PPP saw itself as an important party in Centre.

On alliance with the PTI, she said, “Things are at the preliminary stage right now. Internally, the PPP leaders have given recommendations for alliance with the PTI in some constituencies of Punjab while others have opposed it. There is nothing significant yet.”

Kundi said, “The PPP has no alliance with the PTI yet. The two parties have not even made any backdoor contact.”

Morally and principally, the PPP took a stance for the PTI, Kundi said, adding that it did not mean that the two parties were in alliance and would contest elections together.

The PTI’s political subcommittee had recently announced its support for what it described as the “right thinking” expressed by a “responsible personality” from the PPP.

The statement pertained to the challenge to the legitimacy of election outcomes in the likely absence of the PTI from the process.

Recently, the PTI decided to open a channel of communication with other political parties just days after the party leadership met with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman with the consent of detained PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The PTI leadership had approached the JUI-F chief after the party chief gave a nod for initiating a political dialogue among the political forces, hoping that the exercise would help it get a level-playing field in the general elections scheduled for early next year.

The PTI, which largely remained at loggerheads with other political parties until recent past and hardly settled for anything less than calling its opponents thieves, looters, corrupts and traitors, seems to have realised that it was crucial to keep in touch with other political parties.

On Oct 28, the political committee discussed in detail and finalised the schedule regarding contacts with other political parties to be started from next week.

Sources in the party said that the next meeting would possibly be with the PPP leadership, especially, after the PPP gave a statement going in PTI’s favour.

However, nothing has happened yet.

Meanwhile in Karachi, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday expressed optimism that his party would win the next general elections.

Bilawal made the announcement while speaking to the media after inaugurating the Free Diagnostic Laboratory under JDC Foundation. He said that he was confident that the PPP would win the elections because the party had a strong track record of serving the people.

Bilawal also called for a conducive environment for all political parties in the elections. He said, “The PPP has not been given a level-playing field in any of the past elections, but that the party has still been able to win.”

On other issues, Bilawal called for the protection of human rights during repartition of illegal immigrants. He also expressed concern about the situation in Gaza, urging the world to stop the “genocide” that was taking place there.

Bilawal also spoke about the importance of playgrounds and public spaces for the people, especially the youth. He said that the PPP would establish People’s Squares and sports fields in every district of Karachi if it won the next election.

Bilawal’s announcement comes at a time when the PPP is leading in opinion polls ahead of the upcoming elections. The party is also expected to benefit from the fact that the incumbent government is unpopular.

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