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Zardari tipped to become president as PPP, PML-N enter into alliance

PPP agrees to support PML-N in Centre to form govt but without joining cabinet

By Farooq Aqdas
February 14, 2024
Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) President Asif Ali Zardari. — AFP/File
Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) President Asif Ali Zardari. — AFP/File

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) top leader Asif Ali Zardari is expected to become the country’s president for a second term after his party agreed to ally with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) to form a government at the Centre, sources said on Wednesday

In a major political development a six-parties alliance — PML-N, PPP, MQM-P, PML-Q, IPP and BAP — on Tuesday announced to form a government in the Centre on the pattern of the last government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

Announcing the six-party alliance for the next coalition government in a press conference, after the party heads met at the residence of PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former president Zardari said that it was decided to form the government together.

Before the top leaders' presser, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had said that his party would support the PML-N to elect its prime minister without becoming part of the federal government.

However, to a question regarding the constitutional posts of National Assembly speaker, Senate chairman and president, the PPP chairman said the party would decide its nominees for these posts but he wanted Asif Ali Zardari to become president "because the country is burning and if anyone can help put the fire out, it is Asif Ali Zardari".

Besides the presidency, according to the sources, PPP is also eyeing the post of Balochistan chief minister and party leader Sarfraz Bugti briefed his party on the province’s political situation, as per sources.

The sources have revealed that the leadership of PML-N has agreed to support Zardari for the post of president in return for PPP’s support to Shehbaz for the PM’s post.

If the situation remains unchanged, the country will see the PML-N’s prime minister and the PPP’s president.

Meanwhile, PML-N senior leader Rana Sanaullah said PPP did not not demand the top constitutional post of president.

In a statement, Sanaullah said that Shehbaz had experience of working with allies, while Asif Ali Zardari has the political acumen to take prudent decisions.

He said that neither the PPP demanded the position of the president nor did they make any commitment. "We hope that [JUI-F chief] Fazlur Rehman will become part of the government," he added.