ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: The PPP has linked its support to PML-N in the Centre with its participation in the Punjab government, while Nawaz league stalwarts have publicly opposed moves to form a government that would be like a ‘crown of thorns’ for them.

A source in the PPP told Dawn that the party had asked PML-N that all other matters would be decided between them later, the N-League would first have to give it “some space” in the Punjab set-up.

Following this demand, the scheduled meeting of the contact and coordination committees of both sides could not take place on Friday, with the PML-N seeking one more day to sit together on Saturday.

“Members of the PML-N’s committee went to Lahore on Friday to get response of the party’s high command on the PPP’s demand. They will return from Lahore tomorrow and the meeting between the two sides will take place at 3pm on Saturday,” the source said.

PML-N stalwarts oppose move to ‘wear crown of thorns’; favour allowing PPP, PTI to form next govt

The sources explained that the PPP had linked its support to the N-League even regarding formation of the latter’s government in the Centre and election of the prime minister with PPP’s participation in Punjab government.

Several attempts were made to contact PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb to take her party’s point of view on the matter, but she did not respond to requests for comment.

In Punjab, the PML-N has emerged the single largest party in Feb 8 election with 137 general seats and likely to form its provincial government with party’s chief organiser Maryam Nawaz being new chief minister of Punjab.

The PPP bagged 10 seats of the pro­vincial assembly in Pun­jab and emerged as the third major party there, while the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) stood second with 116 seats.

Sources said both sides in its meeting on Saturday were also expected to discuss the modalities for the formation of the provincial government in Balochistan, where the PPP had grabbed the maximum number of seats in the Feb 8 elections.

Interestingly, both the PPP and PML-N that stood second there had claimed to form their coalition government in Balochistan. “The issue of Balochistan will be settled later. At first, we have to get breathing space in Punjab,” a PPP source said.

Responding to a question, he said the PPP had so far not finalised the names of its candidate for the offices of the speaker of National Assembly and Senate chairman.

‘Crown of thorns’

Meanwhile, two PML-N stalwarts came out publicly in opposition to their party’s efforts to form a government in the Centre, saying that the party had no desire to place this “crown of thorns on its head”.

In a late-night tweet, Khwaja Saad Rafique clearly indicated that he was not in favour of joining a federal coalition government.

“No one has absolute majority in the present National Asse­mbly. The formation of the federal government is the joint responsibility of all the parties in the parliament, not the PML-N.”

“Independent members supported by PTI should take the initiative, form a joint central government with the PPP… We will congratulate you. PML N has no desire to decorate this crown of thorns on its head,” he wrote in a post-midnight tweet, posted on his official X account.

Earlier, PML-N’s Mian Javed Latif had expressed similar thoughts, urging his party to let the PTI form the government as it has majority in the lower house.

Writing on X, Mr Latif said the party (PTI) which was given a majority in the Feb 8 polls should be allowed to form the government.

“By doing so, the country can be saved from anarchy. If this decision is taken [by PML-N], then I will reveal for whom rigging was committed and who was the mastermind,” he wrote.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

ICJ rebuke
Updated 26 May, 2024

ICJ rebuke

The reason for Israel’s criminal behaviour is that it is protected by its powerful Western friends.
Hot spells
26 May, 2024

Hot spells

WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate...
Defiant stance
26 May, 2024

Defiant stance

AT a time when the country is in talks with the IMF for a medium-term loan crucial to bolstering the fragile ...
More pledges
Updated 25 May, 2024

More pledges

There needs to be continuity in economic policies, while development must be focused on bringing prosperity to the masses.
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...