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LAHORE: The Pakistan Peoples Party has ruled out any chances of former president Asif Ali Zardari meeting with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

“There’s no chance that Zardari Sahib will be meeting with Nawaz Sharif because the PPP is not ready to trust anymore in the leadership of the PML-N,” PPP central Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira said while responding to a query at a press conference here on Tuesday.

“Now Mian Sahib will have to face [NAB] references and will learn how to endure the difficulties of joining court proceedings.”

Mr Zardari reached the Punjab capital from Dubai on Tuesday evening. He is likely to stay here for some days to review the ongoing reorganisation of the party in Punjab and discuss strategies for the next general election.

In the backdrop of Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani’s statements after disqualification of Mr Sharif that the nefarious [defunct] constitutional clause 58-2(b) has resurfaced in a new form, the PML-N

has been hoping that with the help of the PPP a joint strategy could be adopted against articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

A PML-N leader claims that some non-political figures are active to bring both Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif to negotiation table.

A constitutional amendment has to be passed by both houses of the parliament.

Currently, the PML-N holds sway in National Assembly but lacks majority in the Senate where PPP is the largest party.

Mr Kaira said Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif won’t be allowed to act as opposition leaders while enjoying governments both in the centre and in Punjab.

He said their so-called transparent governance has been stamped as disqualified (a reference to the Supreme Court verdict in Panama Papers case) and the Sharifs are now regretting that problems of the masses have not been resolved.

“Who’s responsible for this failure in resolving the people’s issues, for the Sharifs are in power (in Punjab) for the last 35 years?” he asked.

Flanked by Aslam Gill and Malik Usman, Mr Kaira recalled that the PPP had offered its help for abolishing (through the 18th amendment) article 62 and 63 but the PML-N had refused to support the move and now the PPP would not provide crutches to the N League against the law under which Nawaz Sharif has been disqualified.He alleged that now even Chinese companies were interrogating whether kickback had been paid in Multan Metro Bus and other projects.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2017