Zardari-Nawaz meeting can’t be ruled out: Khursheed

Updated December 21, 2018

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FORMER prime minister Nawaz Sharif talking to media personnel at Parliament House.—Online
FORMER prime minister Nawaz Sharif talking to media personnel at Parliament House.—Online

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah has said that a meeting between former president Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in the near future cannot be ruled out and it can take place when both leaders are available in Islamabad.

Talking to reporters after his meeting with PML-N president and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif here on Thursday, Mr Shah also did not rule out the possibility of launching a joint protest movement against the government.

“Why can’t a meeting take place?” Mr Shah said when asked if a meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari was possible, adding that Mr Zardari was not present in Islamabad and when he came here “the meeting will take place Insha Allah".

Responding to a question about the chances of launching a joint movement if Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari were arrested, the PPP leader said every party prepared its own strategy. However, he said, “if political situation takes us to this direction then everything is possible in politics”.

PPP leader hints at joint protest movement against government

Interestingly, both Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif evaded the question about the meeting with Mr Zardari when they faced TV reporters after attending a PML-N meeting.

Nawaz Sharif only spoke about the party’s reorganisational matters whereas Shahbaz Sharif criticised the present government’s economic policies.

The PPP leader said they wanted this government to complete its term, but the rulers were themselves creating “uncertainties” through controversial statements and actions and by talking about mid-term elections.

“Is there a civil martial law or a jungle law is prevailing in the country?” he asked while responding to a question regarding the ongoing investigations against Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake bank accounts case.

In reply to a question about the reports that Sanam Bhutto, the sister of Benazir Bhutto, is being launched in politics, he said that she was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and “her name cannot be separated from politics”.

PML-N meeting

Nawaz Sharif and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif jointly presided over another consultative meeting of the senior party members at the Parliament House to discuss a host of issues, including reorganisation of the party.

Sources said the PML-N leadership had set March 23 deadline for completion of the party’s reorganisation down to the district level. The sources said that the vacant posts in the executive body of the party would be filled in the next few days through nominations.

Earlier, the two Sharifs had presided over a similar meeting on Tuesday in which the head of the party’s Central Organising Committee Ahsan Iqbal had made a detailed presentation about the party’s reorganisation matters.

Talking to reporters, Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N governments had always worked hard to improve the quality of life of Pakistanis but the PTI government put life beyond the means of hardworking people with skyrocketing inflation.

He said that major decisions regarding party organisations had been made in the meeting.

“The decisions made in the meeting will lead to effective organisation of the PML-N and will have progressive and productive long -term effects on Pakistani politics,” said Mr Sharif.

He also highlighted the achievements of his government, saying they eliminated terrorism and loadshedding from the country besides launching the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said even the international community acknowledged Pakistan as an emerging state during the time of the PML-N government.

The former prime minister said the PML-N had always looked out for national interest and the welfare of people and it would continue to do that. However, the current government had burdened the hard-working people of this country with unbearable inflation and exaggerated taxation, he added.

“These people make up the majority of Pakistan and it has become increasingly difficult for them to even run their kitchen, let alone provide for their families. A person who used to buy his monthly grocery for Rs5,000 now has to pay over Rs7,500, which is worrisome and sad. I can feel the pain and misery of these people,” he said.

He did not respond to any question regarding the decision pending in the court.

Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2018