PM, Punjab governor meet amid PPP-‘N’ tensions

Published June 17, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif hold meeting with Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider. — Photo by APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif hold meeting with Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: PPP leader and Punjab Governor Sardar Saleem Haider Khan met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday in the backdrop of his party’s reservation over being neglected by the government in consultations over key decisions.

Recently, the PPP, who is in a sort of an informal alliance in the Centre and Punjab — where PPP doesn’t have cabinet positions but supports PML-N led governments in both assemblies — has expressed reservations over the federal budget and Punjab’s controversial defamation law.

The PPP didn’t fully participate in the budget session in the National Assembly as only three of its MNAs attended the session. Last week, the controversial Punjab Defamation Act, 2024 became law after acting governor Malik Ahmad Khan — a PML-N leader — signed the bill in the absence of Mr Haider.

Meeting between PM and governor

A reflection of the strained relations was visible in the body language of the two leaders in the meeting’s official footage released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

A PMO press release stated that the two leaders discussed matters pertaining to Punjab. They also exchanged Eidul Azha greetings and expressed best wishes to each other.

President, PM felicitate nation

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shahbaz felicitated the nation and the Muslim world on the occasion of Eid ul Azha.

The president also urged the nation to remember the people of Palestine and India-held Kashmir during the festivities.

“We should not forget the sacrifices and sufferings of the people of Palestine and [held Kashmir]. On this Eid day, we pray for our Palestinian and Kashmiri brothers and sisters who are bravely facing brutal foreign occupation but remain steadfast in their struggle to achieve their right of self-determination,” President Zardari said.

PM talks to Muslim leaders

According to the PMO, the prime minister also held a telephonic conversation with Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.

Prime Minister Shehbaz and President Erdogan also discussed ways to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields, including trade, investment, defence and tourism.

Both leaders exchanged greetings and best wishes on the occasion of Eidul Azha, the PMO’s Media Wing said in a press release.

“They expressed serious concern over the current situation in Palestine while urging the international community to redouble peace efforts to end the misery and suffering of the innocent Palestinians.”

In another conversation with the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the PM exchanged Eidul Azha greetings, and the two leaders expressed their mutual respect and admiration for the strong historical ties.

The prime minister acknowledged and appreciated Bahrain’s support and cooperation in various fields over the years.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2024

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