Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have commenced formal discussions to forge a government at the center with the support of their allies, as political scheming has reached its peak following the poll on February 8th, in which neither political party was able to gain a simple majority, as reported by Dawn.
In light of the ongoing dialogue with the PPP, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif reached out to JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman to brief him on the meeting with the PPP and solicit his support for the formation of the federal government. Maulana Fazl assured a response by Wednesday.
Simultaneously, a meeting with the political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was convened in Lahore, while another meeting with the PML-Q led by Shujaat Hussain is scheduled for today (February 12) in Islamabad, as per Dawn.
This flurry of political activities unfolds as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates lead in the National Assembly polls, securing at least 93 seats, with PML-N and PPP, respectively, holding 75 and 54 seats.
According to Dawn, after establishing formal contact on Sunday, a delegation led by Shehbaz Sharif visited Bilawal House in Lahore to meet Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, engaging in discussions for over an hour. While a joint declaration termed the meeting 'constructive', it did not outline a specific plan.
Dawn quoted insiders as saying that the PML-N aims to retain the prime minister's slot, akin to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition government, offering the PPP the coveted positions of president, National Assembly speaker, and Senate chairman in return. The PPP leaders will deliberate on this proposal during the central executive committee meeting scheduled in Islamabad today.
The declaration emphasized the cordial environment of the meeting, underlining the commitment to prioritize national interest and well-being. Both parties acknowledged the necessity of sustained political cooperation, aiming to address national challenges collaboratively.
Reflecting the spirit of consensus-building, the leaders affirmed their dedication to steering the country towards stability and prosperity. They underscored their commitment to fulfilling the aspirations of the people and ensuring their voices are heard and respected.
The PML-N delegation comprised Azam Nazeer Tarar, Ayaz Sadiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Tanveer, Saad Rafique, Malik Ahmad Khan, Marrriyum Aurangzeb, and Shaza Fatima.
Separately, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met US Ambassador Donald Blome in Islamabad to discuss federal government formation and the election process. Upon his return to Lahore, Bilawal held discussions with Asif Zardari before departing for Bilawal House.
A meeting between Nawaz Sharif and PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujat, initially planned in Lahore, has been rescheduled for Monday in Islamabad. Additionally, a delegation of the MQM, with 17 NA seats, assured cooperation to the PML-N in navigating the country out of crisis.