Zardari invites PTI for ‘all-inclusive’ political reconciliation ahead of forming govt

“We have decided to form coalition government to steer country out of [prevailing] crises,” says PPP co-chairman in multi-party presser

(From left to right, front row) PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, PML-Q Chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari addressing the joint press conference in Lahore on February 13, 2024. — GeoNews

Amid prevailing political uncertainty and polarisation, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has invited the Imran Khan-founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to join the process for political reconciliation ahead of the formation of the new federal government.

Stressing the need for political reconciliation during a multi-party news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Zardari — flanked by former Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqool Siddiqui, PML-Q Chief Chaudhry Shujaat as well as Istehkam-e-Party (IPP) President Abdul Aleem Khan among others — said that he wanted the PTI to be a part of the reconciliation process as “everyone has to be on board on the ‘economic agenda’ for the broader interest of the nation”.

The development comes hours after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, during a presser in the federal capital, announced pulling out of the candidacy for the prime minister’s post stating his party would back PML-N’s candidate for the country’s chief executive.

The political landscape in Pakistan has been facing a rather unusual uncertainty after none of the parties, including the PPP, PML-N and PTI-affiliated candidates managed to secure a simple majority in the National Assembly in the February 8 general elections.

Attempts have been underway by all the major political stakeholders to rope in independent candidates and forge alliances to reach the necessary 169 seats in the 336-member lower house of parliament after the PTI-backed candidates emerged as the largest group by winning more than 90 NA seats followed by the PML-N PPP’s 75 and 54 seats, respectively.

“We have decided to form a coalition government [to] steer the country out of the [prevailing] crises,” Zardari said while speaking at PML-Q’s chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s residence in Islamabad.

Speaking at the occasion, PML-Q chief Shujaat underscored the significance of the economic agenda to be prioritised amid prevailing dire economic indicators.

“We have supported Shehbaz before and will once again support him,” MQM-P Convener Siddiqui said while calling the stakeholders to put their differences aside.

Terming the high-level huddle as an attempt to stabilise the country’s democracy, Senate Charman Said Sanjrani reaffirmed the Balochistan Awami Party’s (BAP) support for the PML-N supremo Nawaz.

“Everyone will have to make decisions [for betterment] of the country,” IPP President Aleem Khan said while underscoring the need to put aside “egos”.

More to follow…

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