PM Shehbaz Sharif starts consultations with coalition partners as govt expected to take 'tough decisions'

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Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai

MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at PM Office, on May 16, 2022. — PID
MQM-P leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at PM Office, on May 16, 2022. — PID
  • PM Shehbaz Sharif meets MQM-P's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
  • He will also meet JUI-F's Fazlur Rehman and PPP's Asif Zardari.
  • Meetings come amid worsening economic situation, PTI pressure.

ISLAMABAD: As the economic situation worsens and PTI mounts pressure for early polls, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif Monday started consultations with the heads of coalition parties to mull over important issues.

He has met MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at the PM Office; an interaction is also scheduled to take place with PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari later today.

During the meeting with the MQM-P leader, the premier welcomed the support of allied political parties in the implementation of the reforms of government and termed their role vital in decisions of national interest.

They discussed in detail the current political situation in the country.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui paid tribute to PM Shahbaz for prioritising the projects of public welfare and for his directives for the immediate implementation of development projects relating to the people of Karachi.

The prime minister, according to sources, has also summoned a meeting of coalition partners tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the ongoing political situation, where two options will be put forth: early elections or tough decisions.

PM meets Fazl

After Siddiqui, PM Shehbaz held a meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman where they discussed the country's political situation in detail, a statement said.

The leaders exchanged views on ways to provide relief to the people amid heightened inflation and how could the country move toward stability.

The prime minister, according to the statement, vowed to provide essential items at a lowered price to the masses.

"We will use all resources at our disposal to provide essential items are lower rates to the people," the prime minister said during the meeting.

PM Shehbaz said for political stability, it was crucial that all coalition partners work together. "While making decisions, we will keep in mind the people's benefit."

London huddle

Last week, PM Shahbaz Sharif held detailed discussions with PML-N supremo and his elder brother Nawaz Sharif in London on pressing issues.

The premier, along with his key cabinet members belonging to PML-N, stayed in the UK capital for three days where the party held threadbare discussions.

The PML-N leaders who attended the London meetings are tight-lipped and are not sharing anything related to the party's strategy to deal with the economic crisis and ending the subsidies on petroleum products, which the IMF has linked with the revival of the loan programme.

According to a Daily Jang report published today, PM Shahbaz may also address the nation in a day or two to take the nation into confidence over the prevailing financial and political situation of the country.

A meeting of the National Security Committee — the country’s apex security body comprising civil and military leadership — can also be summoned to appraise all stakeholders on the current situation, it added.

The prime minister will present the options for dealing with the crises to the leaders of the coalition parties after which the government will make the final decision.

Earlier, senior PML-N leader Rana Sanullah said that the PML-N would like take all the allies on board before taking the “difficult” decisions.

While talking on Geo News programme Naya Pakistan on Saturday, the minister said the PML-N has the ability to revive the economy, ruined by an incompetent gang, but there is a cost to it, and the PML-N is ready to pay its part of the cost.

But, he said, the party is not ready to take responsibility for everything. He said that all other allies must come clear and show how much burden they were ready to shoulder for reviving the economy.