President Asif Ali Zardari. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Although it was a chilly, drizzly Sunday, there was no let-up in hectic political activities in the capital, with apprehensions about developments on Monday in relation to the order the Supreme Court may issue in the NRO implementation case, the memo issue judicial investigation and the debate and vote on a resolution tabled in the National Assembly on Friday by the ruling coalition.

A significant event was a meeting between PML-Q leaders and President Asif Ali Zardari.

In a terse press statement, the media wing of the presidency said PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had met the president and discussed the current political situation. It said that matters concerning coalition partners also came under discussion at the dinner hosted by the president.

According to sources, the meeting was of critical importance in the context of the NRO case and the attorney general’s appearance in the Supreme Court on Monday to present the government’s stand on the six options given by an apex court bench on Jan 10.

The sources said it was not clear what would be PPP leaders’ stance in the Supreme Court, but the PML-Q leaders were reported to have again suggested to the president to follow a middle course, instead of going for a head-on collision with the judiciary.

Chaudhry Shujaat had warned last week that in the event of a confrontation there would be only losers and no winner.

Since Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has been actively trying to defuse the crisis over the past week and talking to all sections concerned, including the military, his meeting with the president indicated that the government was taking his suggestions seriously.

However, another unannounced meeting between the president and former law minister and the government’s chief legal adviser Senator Babar Awan was equally important.

The sources said it was difficult to say whether the president would heed the advice of the Chaudhrys or that of Senator Babar Awan who is facing contempt of court charges for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the Supreme Court.

When asked about the mood at the prime minister’s secretariat, a senior official said it appeared that the government wanted `reconciliation’ and might go for a compromise.

“Since it is a legal issue, one cannot be fully sure what the attorney general would say in the court on behalf of the federal government on the NRO, but it appears the government will try to address the concerns of the Supreme Court,” he said.



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