Zardari hints at another coalition govt after meeting Shehbaz, allies

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday hinted at what he termed “another wide-ranging consensus” among Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), PML-Q and MQM to form a coalition government in the centre, ARY News reported.

A significant joint press conference was held featuring leaders from major political parties in Pakistan, including PML-N, PML-Q, PPP, and MQM-P, along with Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani and Aleem Khan of IPP.

In a statement, Asif Ali Zardari expressed the collective commitment of the parties to work together to navigate Pakistan out of its challenges.

“As a united front, we pledge to address all issues, including the economy and terrorism,” stated Asif Zardari, emphasizing the resolution to find solutions through consensus, with even the inclusion of PTI.

Acknowledging the financial challenges faced by Pakistan, Zardari stated, “We are aware of the numerous installments of Pakistan’s debts that need to be fulfilled.”

Despite acknowledging the possibility of facing each other in elections, Zardari urged for collaborative efforts in managing the country effectively.

Zardari emphasized the importance of accepting election results during the press conference, asserting that their presence here in Islamabad is a testament to the transparency of the electoral process, underlining that, “Our [politicians present in the press conference] presence here, guiding the way forward, is a direct outcome of transparent elections. Without transparency, we would not be in this position.”

Earlier in the day, the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto ruled out the possibility of becoming part of any coalition government, saying that his party will vote for prime minister candidate of PML-N but sit in opposition.

“The PPP has decided that we are unable or not in a position to join federal government ourselves, nor are we interested in taking ministries in such a setup,” the party chairman said while addressing a press conference following a two-day long Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting.

Bilawal Bhutto acknowledged that the reality was that his party does not have a mandate to form a government in the Centre. “Due to this, I will not be putting myself forward for the candidacy of the prime minister of Pakistan,” he said, noting that PML-N and the independents have greater numbers.

Meanwhile, he pointed out that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had refused to form a coalition with the PPP which left the PML-N as the only party that had invited the PPP to join the government.

“We don t want to see chaos in the country or perpetual crisis in the country,” the PPP chairman said, adding that his party decided to support the PML-N s candidate for the premiership to ensure political instability.

Bilawal Bhutto said that his party has accepted the election results, despite concerns, in the larger interest of the country. He urged all political parties to address the shortcomings so that “no one can point fingers at elections the next time”.

“The PPP has made the decision that we may not be a part of the government but we will engage with political parties on the issue of votes and the election of prime minister,” he added, assuring the public that the Parliament will be formed.

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