(L to R) Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a press conference next to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad on March 8, 2022. — AFP


(L to R) Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaks during a press conference next to PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, and PDM chief Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad on March 8, 2022. — AFP
  • Ruling alliance decides to meet after Eid to take forward ongoing consultation process.
  • PDM huddle decides all election requirements will be fulfilled so that results are accepted by all parties.
  • Coalition parties are holding deliberations over conducting elections as well.

KARACHI: Ruling alliance has decided to hold a meeting after Eid ul Fitr where leaders of all political parties will be assembled so that the ongoing consultation process with parties in parliament and outside could be taken to the next level.

Amid the constitutional crisis in the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday presided over a high-level meeting attended by coalition partners — an alliance of 13 political parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — at the PM House, which discussed the overall situation in the country as well as the future course of action.

“As politicians, we never shut the doors on negotiations and no one who believes in democracy could do so,” the huddle said, reiterating the coalition parties’ belief in the Constitution, democracy and people’s vote as well as the holding of elections.

Earlier this week, sources told Geo News that the ruling allies have hit a snag over holding talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The coalition partners met in Islamabad after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif convened a meeting on the country’s political situation and the JI’s negotiation efforts.

During the meeting, a disagreement took place among the parties in the coalition government over holding talks with the opposition party as some believed that PTI Chairman Imran Khan could not be trusted, while others insisted that political forces should not shut channels for negotiations.

However, in a turn of events, the ruling alliance during yesterday’s meeting discussed the ongoing issue regarding holding elections on the same date and decided to meet again after Eid to reach a consensus over the final decision.

The meeting also made it clear the coalition parties were already holding deliberations over the conducting elections for which PM Shehbaz has constituted a committee. 

The huddle said: “From offering the Charter of Economy at every stage until now, the coalition government has expressed willingness for serious, meaningful and within Constitution talks. 

“Ensuring free, fair and transparent elections is fundamental to the Constitution.”

The meeting also decided that all requirements for holding an election would be fulfilled, so that the results could be acceptable to all the parties and the country could avoid another instability, which could hurt the national and economic interests.

Bilawal meets JUI-F chief

In addition, Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met PDM chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman to hold an “extensive discussion” regarding the current political situation.

During the last meeting of the ruling alliance, Bilawal stressed holding dialogue with the opposition, with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan National Party, Balochistan Awami Party, Chaudhry Salik, and Mohsin Dawar backing him, sources told Geo News.

But representatives of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the Jamhoori Wattan Party (JWP) rejected Bilawal’s opinion and said that it isn’t in the coalition’s interests to hold talks with the deposed prime minister — who was ousted from the office via a no-confidence vote in the National Assembly in April last year.

However, Bilawal decided to hold talks directly with the JUI-F chief. Following the meeting, Bilawal took to his Twitter to share the development.

He wrote: “I am optimistic that party heads meeting after Eid will make positive progress. The issues of one-day election across the country [and] modalities for dialogue with opposition will be finalized by then IA,” he said.


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