PPP hopeful of reaching consensus with PML-N on govt formation in today's meeting

Sources say both sides are likely to convert initial recommendations' draft into written agreement today

PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi addresses a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on September 9, 2023. — Online
PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi addresses a press conference at his residence in Islamabad on September 9, 2023. — Online
  • PML-N sees positivity despite PPP's reluctance on cabinet inclusion.
  • Both sides will consult party leadership before today's meeting.
  • Tarar hints at Bilawal Bhutto-led party's part in future executive.

ISLAMABAD: After the fifth session of the coordination committees of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) failed to result in any major progress, the former remains hopeful of reaching a consensus over matters pertaining to the government formation in today's meeting.

Speaking to Geo News, PPP's Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi reiterated the decision made by the party's central executive committee against being a part of the federal cabinet in the future government.

"[Our] experience with the PML-N during the 16-month alliance was not pleasant," Kundi said while stressing that there's no formula for holding the office of the prime minister for three years and two years by either party's candidates. 

However, he underscored that the party holds the right to contest for other constitutional posts.

The bilateral talks between the PPP and the PML-N, after none of the parties was able to secure a simple majority in the February 8 polls, have dragged on for days with the former maintaining its stance against being included in the cabinet, The News reported on Tuesday.

On Monday, the parties held a three-hour session and were initially set to meet for a second round later in the day, which was later deferred to Tuesday (today).

Though the draft of recommendations was finalised a day earlier, both parties decided to consult their respective leadership before the meeting slated for today.

However, the PPP's committee did not come up for the meeting, and later it was decided to hold talks on Tuesday.

Sources said the Bilawal Bhutto-led party was of the view that when party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari had made the commitment that the PPP would support the PML-N in the election of prime minister, the party would fulfil the commitment without being a part of the cabinet.

The PML-N and PPP committees, sources added, had prepared a draft of recommendations regarding government formation and are likely to convert the draft into a written agreement today.

Talking to the media persons on Monday, senior PML-N Senator Azam Nazir Tarar said talks were going on positively and the two sides would meet again today. 

Tarar underscored that they have decided on certain aspects regarding the PPP’s inclusion in the federal cabinet during the meeting attended by PML-N's Senator Ishaq Dar, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan whereas the PPP was represented by Syed Murad Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Saeed Ghani, Nadeem Afzal Chan, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Shuja Khan and Sardar Bahadur Khan Sehar.

MQM-P eyes NA deputy speaker post, three ministries

Meanwhile, a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also held a meeting with a PML-N team where the two sides agreed to continue to remain in touch for the formation of government in the Centre.

The MQM-P delegation comprised Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori, Senior Convener Syed Mustafa Kamal and Dr Farooq Sattar, while Dar, Sadiq and Malik represented the PML-N.

After the meeting, the MQM-P spokesperson said that they had sought the support of PML-N in Parliament on a three-point package of amendments to the Constitution.

"On top of our priorities is get constitutional protection to devolution of powers and resources at the grassroots level," he said.

Meanwhile, the sources said that the MQM-P with 17 seats in the National Assembly is set to add another four women’s reserve seats, taking the tally to 21. It has also been learnt that so far no agreement has been reached on the share of MQM-P in the federal government.

However, the MQM-P leadership is interested in a deputy speakership in the National Assembly and at least three ministries including the Port and Shipping, Housing and Works and Information.

In addition, the leading party in Karachi would also get the chairmanship of some standing committees of the house.

The MQM-P spokesperson said that during the meeting, the two sides discussed matters particularly the problems being faced by the Sindh population both in rural and urban areas.

PML-N, PPP, BAP finalise formation of Balochistan govt

Meanwhile, the PML-N and PPP leadership in consultation with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) finalised details for the formation of government in Balochistan province. These three parties have a decisive majority in the Balochistan Assembly.

The sources said that it had also been finalised the Balochistan chief minister would be from the PPP. However, unlike in the past, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), having 10 seats in the province, has already announced it will become part of the Balochistan government.

In the meantime, the PPP leadership has called all Balochistan Assembly members belonging to the party in Islamabad as the party succeeded in roping in three independent members Liaquat Lehri, Asfand Yar Kakar and Maulvi Noorullah in Balochistan after the trio met with Zardari.