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Wednesday July 24, 2024

PPP convinces govt to accept its 'all demands'

Sources say PML-N accepted PPP's demands regarding district administrations, representation in boards

By Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai
June 23, 2024
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and President Asif Ali Zardari along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz can be seen discussing issues during a meeting on February 5, 2022. — Twitter/MediaCellPPP
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and President Asif Ali Zardari along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz and Hamza Shahbaz can be seen discussing issues during a meeting on February 5, 2022. — Twitter/MediaCellPPP

ISLAMABAD: Following a series of talks, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has finally convinced the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led government to accept "all its demands".

Sources told Geo News the leading national parties reached this decision in the third round of talks between both the parties' negotiating committees on Sunday.

The negotiating committees were formed to address the PPP's grievances over the government's not taking it into confidence over federal budget as well as it seeking more share in Punjab.

As per the sources, the government has agreed to give the PPP preference for development funds and appointments on administrative posts in Punjab.

Raja Pervez Ashraf, Ali Haider Gillani, Nadeem Afzal Chan and Hassan Murtaza from the PPP participated in the forum. Whereas, PML-N was represented by Punjab Assembly Speaker Ahmed Khan, Rana Sanaullah and Khawaja Saad Rafique among others.

The sources said the PML-N has accepted PPP’s demands regarding district administrations, appointment of law officers, representation in various boards and authorities, early holding of local bodies election, distribution of development funds equal to PML-N lawmakers.

The PPP has demanded appointment of an additional secretary in the chief minister secretariat whose job would be to resolve the issues faced by the party only, they said.

The Punjab government would appoint district deputy commissioners, district police officers and revenue officers in consultation with the PPP in the areas where the political party has a significant support, the sources said.

Sources said 12 such districts were pointed out including Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan, Rawalpindi and Rajanpur. The PPP would be consulted in appointment of a district officer in these areas, the sources added.

On the other hand, the PPP offered to appoint district officers of PML-N’s choice in Sindh areas despite the ruling party not having a representation there.

“The PPP delegation will present a report about all their discussion to PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari tomorrow and the PML-N delegation will present its report to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif,” they said.

They said if they agreed, then a written agreement would be signed following which it would be implemented.

PPP-PML-N talks

The development comes after the coalition partners — PPP and PML-N — held committee-level talks to discuss budget issues after the former raised concerns for not taking it to confidence regarding the budget.

In a meeting on Friday, the PPP, said the sources, received assurances from the PML-N regarding the redressal of all of their reservations be it pertaining to budget or the Punjab government.

The senior leaders of the two parties met in the federal capital after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif where a decision was made to form committees to resolve the matter.

Insiders said Bilawal, in the meeting, had voiced his reservations over the federal government's "non-seriousness" towards different projects in Sindh.

During the committee-level talks, PML-N complained about PPP bringing forward its reservations at the time of the budget announcement.

“Even during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, the PPP created an issue out of the flood fund during the budget,” the PML-N leaders said.

The PML-N members, as per the sources, said that the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and senior party leaders were taken into confidence on the main points while preparing the budget.

"Despite these [briefings], the party protested after the budget was presented. This wasn’t appropriate. Also, the PPP didn’t join the cabinet in Punjab and Centre, despite several invitations.”

"Important constitutional positions were also given to the PPP according to its wish," said sources within the PML-N.

However, on the other hand, the PPP complained of not being trusted by the ‘N’ league.

"You consider us allies, but you do not take us into confidence. The PPP supported PML-N with regard to all important issues including the election of prime minister and speaker.”

During the meeting, the PPP said that they were ready to cooperate but their reservation should be addressed, to which the PML-N agreed.