ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday called on Pakistan Muslim League headed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to form government in Punjab. Zardari made the call after chairing a meeting of Pakistan People’s Party’s Parliamentary group at the Governor’s House in Lahore. His son and Co-Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Zardari Bhutto also attended the meeting. “We will support PML-N’s provincial government and if the leadership of the party wants the PPP to join a coalition,” Zardari said.
Zardari’s statement came amid reports of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry constituting a larger bench to hear a set of review petitions filed by Federation of Pakistan, Speaker, Punjab Assembly, proposer and seconder of the Sharif brothers in by-elections, Mehr Zafar Iqbal and Shakeel Baig and others. The petitions seek to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision of Feb. 25 in which both PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were disqualified from holding any public office.
The five-member bench meets today. The bench will also hear a separate application moved by the federal government seeking suspension of the disqualification order of the two brothers till the time it is not decided.
Zardari said setting a good example of tolerance, “we have given full chance to PML-N for the formation of government in Punjab.” The future line of action now depends entirely on the conduct of PML(N) toward PPP, he added.
Zardari said PPP, since its inception, firmly believed in supremacy of the constitution, rule of law, national cohesion, solidarity, sovereignty and promotion of democratic system of government. “The PPP is making all sincere efforts to strengthen democracy in the country. It had rendered record number of sacrifices in the political history of Pakistan, especially the Bhutto family for the restoration and promotion of democracy in the country,” Zardari said.
He reiterated that his party “will leave no stone unturned to promote the politics of tolerance, decency and do away with the politics of confrontation and agitation across the country.” He said following the policy of reconciliation, he announced the lifting of governor’s rule in Punjab during his address to joint session of the Parliament on Saturday.
Bilawal Zardari Bhutto also spoke on the occasion. He categorically endorsed all the policies being pursued by his father. He said the president should be politically strengthened. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, President PPP, Punjab, Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan, former senior minister Raja Riaz Ahmad and other party stalwarts attended the meeting besides all party MNAs and MPAs.
Reacting to Zardari’s offer, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly said PML-N’s main preference was the implementation of Charter of Democracy which the PPP and PML-N had signed. He said: “If we undo 17th Constitutional Amendment most of the powers will be transferred to Prime Minister’s Office.”
courtesy: Arab News