PPP joining Opp in Punjab if ‘N’ doesn’t behave


ISLAMABAD: Disappointed with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has asked his party leadership to explore ‘other options’ as he now feels that enough is enough and the time has come to deal with the Sharifs-led party in the Punjab politically because a policy of reconciliation is not working any more.
Insiders told Pakistan Today that on the suggestion of the prime minister, the PPP leadership has decided that the party will sit on the opposition benches in the Punjab assembly in a tit-for-tat response to the belligerent PML-N if it does not “behave” in the province and “stop plotting” against its government in the centre.
“Enough is enough,” was the response of a disheartened Yusuf Raza Gilani at a recent in-house meeting of the PPP top brass. “The prime minister proposed that if the PML-N did not change its attitude towards our MPAs and stop plotting against us in the centre, we should part ways with it in the Punjab and sit on the opposition benches,” a source quoted Prime Minister Gilani as saying.
It was also learnt that the prime minister expressed his disappointment with the Punjab chief minister and said that he was not expecting a conspiracy from those he had befriended. “The participants of the meeting agreed with the prime minister,” the source said.
The prime minister was perturbed with the PML-N’s recent contact with the Chaudhrys of Gujrat to win their support for a no-confidence motion against him. “The pragmatic Chaudhrys laughed away the idea when they were told that Chaudhry Nisar would replace Yusuf Raza Gilani,” another source confided to Pakistan Today.
“What will we get?” Pervez Elahi asked the messenger who could not satisfy the Chaudhrys and the PPP leadership, knowing this development, decided to contact them immediately. The decision to send Babar Awan to the Chaudhrys was understandably made to get them on board to scuttle any PML-N move against the prime minister.
After the Chaudhrys agreed to cooperate with the PPP, its strategy now is that if the situation comes to a dead end, the PPP MPAs in the Punjab will sit in the opposition and the PML-Q, whose MPAs are also being antagonized in the province, will join the PPP in turning the PML-N and the unification bloc into a minority.
Similarly, if the PML-N withdraws its covert support from the federal government and the MQM also quits the coalition, the PML-Q will stand with the PPP. “The power-sharing formula will be worked out because the Chaudhrys will certainly expect a share in the federal government and CMship or an equally important position in the province,” a PPP leader said, adding that his party was ready for any workable deal with the Pakistan Muslim League-Q.
Though some elements in the PML-Q and the PPP reacted to the move for a possible alliance of the two strange bedfellows, insiders believed that the reaction from the PML-Q was to get the maximum out of this situation and the PPP’s was to send a message that the Punjab would not be offered to the Chaudhry on a platter.
“The decision to hold the federal cabinet meeting in Lahore was also part of the PPP strategy to give its MPAs confidence and at the same time tell the detractors that the PPP was ready for any eventuality,” a source close to the prime minister said.