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Friday July 19, 2024

Kundi rebuffs 'blackmailing impression’ as PPP, PML-N talks on govt continue

PML-N leader Irfan Siddiqui says his party has "surrendered" to save system from derailing

By Web Desk
February 20, 2024
Former President of Pakistan and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) president Asif Ali Zardari calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Lahore on Saturday, July 15, 2023. — PID
Former President of Pakistan and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) president Asif Ali Zardari calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Lahore on Saturday, July 15, 2023. — PID

As the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are yet to reach an agreement on government formation in the Centre, the former party’s senior leader denied an impression of “blackmailing” to dictate its terms.

The clarification came after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari blamed PML-N for dragging on the talks and warned that he foresees a "dangerous stalemate" if "someone" doesn't change their position over government formation.

No political party secured a simple majority in the February 8 elections, forcing parties to mull over alliances in a bid to come into power. As the new set-up has not been decided yet despite the passage of 12 days since the polls, eyebrows have been raised over the matter.

Geo News senior anchorperson Hamid Mir told Shahzeb Khanzada that Bilawal is cautious as his entire election campaign was anti-PML-N, and joining hands with the Nawaz-led party might not sit well with his support base, especially in Punjab.

For his part, PPP spokesperson Faisal Karim Kundi told Geo News’ Khanzada that his party does not intend to get the better of the PML-N during the government formation talks.

“We will support the PML-N during tough times [...] we are not blackmailing the PML-N,” Kundi said.

While he said that his party would support the N-League, he also noted that it was the PPP didn’t want the Pakistan Democratic Movement-like rule again.

Kundi noted that PPP was ready to support the PML-N as it had more numbers, while also telling his former allies that “you can now form a cabinet of your own so that there’s no one to blame anymore”.

PML-N has 'surrendered to save system'

In the same show, PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said that his party would have no objections object if the PPP formed a coalition government with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The PML-N leader said his party does not want the system to derail and the country heads into polls again.

Speaking about ongoing negotiations with PPP on government formation, the PML-N senator said this is not a time to "impose conditions".

"We are not bargaining. We have surrendered to save the system," he said.

The PML-N leader said the PPP may want to reach an understanding with his party on the conditions of party chief Bilawal. “When two parties sit [for negotiations] then there are no one-sided conditions.”

Responding to a question, the PML-N leader nothing could be said about whether the elections would take place within 90 days if the assembly dissolved prematurely.

He also dispelled the impression that the PML-N wanted to form government at any cost.