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Updated February 11th, 2024 at 15:46 IST

Ex-Prez. Zardari Demands PM Spot for Son Bilawal in Return for Supporting PML-N in Center, Punjab

Ex-Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif told his party members that former President Asif Zardari is demanding a PM spot for PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Pakistan's Former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Former President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistan's Former Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Former President Asif Ali Zardari | Image:AP
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Islamabad – As the top parties in Pakistan seek alliances to form a government in the country, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif told his party members that former President Asif Zardari is demanding a PM spot for Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, if Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wants its support. According to Pakistani news outlet The News International, the PPP has agreed to form a coalition with the PML-N with the condition that Bilawal will be the Prime Minister of the country. Not only this, reports are also emerging that Zardari has also demanded major ministerial portfolios for his fellow party members. The news of these conditions came a day after Bilawal proclaimed that no party could form a government at the centre without PPP's support. 

According to the News International, the meeting between Zardari and Sharif was held on Friday and during the meeting the former Pakistani president placed these conditions, in exchange, the PPP would support the PML-N to make its government in Punjab. On Saturday, Shehbaz conveyed the message at an inter-party meeting which was attended by Senator Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, Attaullah Tarar, Khawaja Imran Nazir and others. One of the sources close to PML-N told the Pakistani news outlet that making a coalition with PPP is PML-N's first option. However, the party does not want to give away the PM slot and is exploring other options as well. 

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No government without PPP: Bilawal

On Saturday, the son of the slain former PM Benazir Bhutto stressed that no government could be formed in the Centre, Punjab and Balochistan without inclusion of his party. "A government should be formed with national unity to bring political stability," Bilawal said in an interview with Geo News. “I want to end the politics of hate and division,” he added. While the results were coming in, the political scion mentioned that the PPP is the only party with representation in all four provinces. “Complete results have not been released yet [...] However, without the PPP, no government can be formed in Centre, Punjab and Balochistan,” he proclaimed. “It is in the country's interest to build political unity as it would be difficult to resolve public issues without addressing the core national issue of political instability,” the PPP chairman stressed. As per the unofficial and unconfirmed results, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf-backed independent candidates are dominating the polls, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Bilawal-led party in third position on the party position chart for the National Assembly (NA) seats. 

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Published February 11th, 2024 at 15:46 IST

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