Friday June 21, 2024

PML-N to 'again request' PPP to join federal cabinet

Nawaz Sharif directs PM Shehbaz to form cabinet at earliest and start implementing PML-N's manifesto

By Waqar Satti & Web Desk
March 09, 2024
PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari (left) meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on November 22, 2022. — Twitter/@FarhatullahB
PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari (left) meets Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on November 22, 2022. — Twitter/@FarhatullahB

In view of the tough challenges lying ahead, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would again request the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a key member of the 8-party ruling alliance, to join the federal cabinet, the party's sources said Saturday.   

Last month, despite days-long consultations between the two major parties of the country, the PPP had decided to back PML-N’s candidate for the prime minister's slot but would not be a part of the federal government.

Moments before the election of Asif Ali Zardari as 4th president of the country, a high-level meeting of the PML-N, headed by the ruling party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif and attended among others by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, decided to again approach the PPP for its inclusion in the federal cabinet.

PM Shehbaz told the meeting that he would talk to Zardari after his election as the president.

"Will request Asif Ali Zardari after he is elected president," sources said, quoting the PM.

During the huddle, the PML-N supremo directed the premier to finalise the federal cabinet at the earliest and start implementing the party’s manifesto, as per sources.

Current political and economic situation, national and international issues and other matters were discussed in the meeting.

Currently, the people’s expectations from the PML-N are high, the PML-N supremo told the participants, adding that the new government, however, had to face challenges like a mountain.

“Reducing in [skyrocketing] inflation is also inevitable,” sources said, quoting Nawaz.

Lamenting the challenges faced by the new government such as soaring inflation, Nawaz said: "Prime minister, you should form the cabinet soon and start implementing the [party's] manifesto."

As per the sources, key ministries of defence, foreign affairs, and finance are likely to be handed over to two PML-N bigwigs — Khawaja Asif and Ishaq Dar — and a renowned banker Muhammad Aurangzeb, respectively, the sources said.

Likewise, PML-N’s Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal would be given the ministries of planning, and development, as well as privatisation, as per the sources.

The insiders also revealed that Tarar is expected to be given the information and broadcasting ministry, whereas, another PML-N stalwart Rana Sanaullah — former interior minister — would be made special assistant to prime minister (SAPM) on interior affairs.

Later in the day, PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar said that the premier is likely to finalise his cabinet in the next 24 hours.

During an informal interaction with journalists in Islamabad, the PML-N leader claimed that all the matters had been settled with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).