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PPP buys time thru’ talks with PML-Q

February 15, 2013

GUJRAT, Feb 14: The Pakistan People’s Party will delay seat adjustment or electoral alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid till the dissolution of assemblies and will keep the ‘Q’ engaged in dialogues till then, a source in the PPP told Dawn.

The local chapters of the PPP from both Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin districts asked party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at a meeting in Lahore the other day to declare the constituencies of both the districts open instead of going for any kind of electoral alliance or seat adjustment with the PML-Q.

Sources said a meeting of the co-chairman with party’s district presidents, general secretaries and parliamentarians from the six districts of the Gujranwala division was held at Bilawal House to discuss party position in the region.

They said Gujrat district PPP President Tahir Zaman Kaira told the party leader that an electoral alliance or seat adjustment with the Q League was not workable in Gujrat. Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Tanveer Ashraf Kaira, the lone MPA of the PPP from Gujrat district, Dr Zahid Zaheer, the district general secretary of Gujrat PPP, and others were also present on the occasion.

The Gujrat PPP president also briefed the co-chairman on the party’s position in all the constituencies of the district. Federal Minister for Water and Power Ahmed Mukhtar did not attend the meeting due to which his constituency NA-105 was not discussed in that meeting.

Sources said Asif Basheer Bhagat, a PPP MPA from Mandi Bahauddin district, also supported the idea of not going into any alliance with the PML-Q and suggested to the co-chairman to declare both Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin districts as free from such an arrangement.

The sources quoted Mr Zardari as telling the participants that the PPP would adopt a delaying policy in making any decision on joint candidates or the seat adjustment with the PML-Q and it would wait until the conclusion of the current assemblies term in mid March.

A well placed source in the PPP said as most of Q legislators had been busy making new political alignments and were expected to switch sides once the assemblies were dissolved, Q’s position would be weakened further. So it would be the best time for Mr Zardari to strike any deal with the Q on its own terms and condition.