Bilawal declares he will support PML-N on his terms

Bilawal declares he will support PML-N on his terms

Bilawal declares he will support PML-N on his terms

Bilawal declares he will support PML-N on his terms

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ISLAMABAD: As negotiations between the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) continue without resolution, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari cautioned on Tuesday that a “dangerous stalemate” looms unless there is a shift in someone’s stance regarding government formation.

“Progress [in talks] can only occur if ‘someone’ is willing to reconsider their position […] We are steadfast in our stance and will not waver,” Bilawal stated, refraining from directly naming the PML-N.

He made these remarks during a media interaction outside the Supreme Court of Pakistan following his attendance at a hearing related to a presidential reference concerning Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death sentence.

Bilawal’s comments come as the coordination committees of the PML-N and PPP are scheduled to convene for a sixth meeting on Tuesday (today) in efforts to reach a consensus regarding the formation of the future government. Both parties fell short of securing enough National Assembly seats to independently form a government at the center.

The ongoing bilateral discussions have been prolonged due to the PPP’s reluctance to join the PML-N’s cabinet, despite agreeing to support its candidate for the prime ministerial position. However, in exchange for its support, the Bilawal-led party is seeking significant constitutional roles, including the presidency for Asif Ali Zardari.

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Various political stakeholders have been striving to enlist independent candidates and form alliances to attain the required 169 seats in the 336-member lower house of parliament, following the emergence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidates as the largest group, with over 90 NA seats, followed by the PML-N and PPP with 79 and 54 seats, respectively.

Bilawal emphasized that the deadlock in negotiations would be detrimental to both democracy and the economy.

When questioned about his engagement with the establishment, Bilawal retorted, “Where is the evidence of my involvement with the establishment? Provide evidence before making accusations.”

He highlighted that the electorate did not favor any single party with a majority, indicating the need for consensus among all stakeholders. Bilawal added, “Political stakeholders must collaborate and decide. If I am to support PML-N, it will be on my terms.”

Meanwhile, PPP’s Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi reiterated the party’s central executive committee’s decision to abstain from joining the federal cabinet in the future government.

Kundi cited the unsatisfactory experience during the 16-month alliance with the PML-N and emphasized the absence of a predetermined formula for dividing the prime ministerial term between the two parties’ candidates.

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Nevertheless, Kundi expressed hope for a breakthrough in today’s meeting between the two parties.

 

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