PPP says 'not blackmailing' PML-N on budget

Marri says nothing substantial came out of the talks between PPP chief and prime minister

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Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Central Information Secretary Shazia Marri addressing to the ceremony on August 6, 2023. — APP
  • Marri says nothing substantial came out of Bilawal-PM talks. 
  • Says PPP politely conveying its concerns and not blackmailing. 
  • Sanaullah says meeting was held in a "pleasant environment".

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Central Information Secretary Shazia Marri said Friday that her party was not strong-arming the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which is in power in the centre, over the federal budget.

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb presented the budget for the next fiscal year, starting July 1, earlier this month, but the PPP — the main ally of the PML-N — had raised strong objections to the proposals.

The party leaders had said that the PML-N had taken a solo flight in preparing the budget, while another had claimed that the PPP was not consulted at all on the financial blueprint.

With the differences out in the public and the days running out, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari held a meeting in Islamabad over the budget.

Sources told Geo News that the PPP chairman raised concerns but assured the prime minister of providing help to pass the budget, while PM Shehbaz also said that he would address his ally's reservations.

During her conversation on Geo News' programme "Geo Pakistan", Marri said that nothing substantial came out of the talks between the PPP chief and the prime minister.

"PPP believes in negotiations and we will hold meetings moving forward. We are not blackmailing anyone, we're politely conveying our concerns," the member of the National Assembly said, stressing that her party has concerns over the federal budget.

In response, PM's Adviser on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah said that the meeting between the two leaders was held in a "pleasant environment" and that discussions were held on all government-related matters.

"Two committees have been formed. The committees will meet [soon] and everything will be resolved with mutual understanding," Sanaullah said.

He added that the PPP has not taken any ministries, but it is an important part of the government. "The meeting also discussed the federal and Punjab budgets," Sanaullah added.

Camel to be treated for 2 months: Marri 

Marri, while speaking about the camel which was tortured, said that the incident was tragic and that six people have been arrested.

She said that the owner of the camel has a land dispute with another party and he did not file a complain of the incident to the police.

"The camel was moved to Karachi for treatment and I am looking into this case myself," said Marri, adding that the camel will undergo treatment for at least two months.

The heartbreaking incident took place on June 14 in the Mundh Jamrao area. The animal had entered an agricultural land, angering its owner who then resorted to physical violence toward the camel.

The landlord, along with his employees, first physically tortured the camel as a punishment for entering the land for fodder. Later, they cut the animal's leg with a sharp tool.

Following the incident, the camel was moved to Karachi where it is being treated and taken care of by a non-governmental organisation for its rehabilitation. The camel will also get an artificial leg. 

Meanwhile, a court in Sanghar sent six suspects, allegedly involved in chopping off the camel’s leg, on physical remand for two days on Thursday.  

'Taking over grid station challenge to writ of state'

Sanaullah also talked about the loadshedding crisis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying that it persists due to electricity theft and a low number of payments of bills.

He said that another grid station was taken over which is not acceptable at all. "Taking over a grid is challenging the writ of the state," he noted.

Sanaullah said that the first time the grid was seized, the interior minister and the energy minister did not take any legal action.

His comments come after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Zulfiqar Khan forcibly restored power supply to 17 feeders in Nowshera. 

The PTI-affiliated MNA, accompanied by party workers, stormed Pabbi and Taru Jaba grid stations and restored the electricity supply. 

In response, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) initiated a legal action against Zulfiqar and sent a letter for lodging a case against the politician over his this act.

This is not a one-off event as incidents of forcibly restoring power supply have taken place in Mardan, Charsadda, Tank, Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan), and Peshawar as well.