PPP won’t leave Punjab government on its own


ISLAMABAD – Opting to adopt a wait-and-see policy, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has decided not to quit the Punjab government, leaving it to the PML-N to decide if it wants to keep the coalition going or not. The PML-N had said it would oust the PPP from the Punjab government if Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani did not respond positively to its interim reforms agenda.
The decision not to quit the Punjab government was taken after consultations with President Asif Zardari. A source confided to Pakistan Today that the government had decided to respond to the demands of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in affirmative and a detailed roadmap had been prepared to be sent to the PML-N leadership. Another source said some party hawks were opposed to the idea of Gilani bowing to all PML-N demands.
Meanwhile, two leaders of the PPP Punjab chapter have sent a proposal to Zardari asking him to allow party legislators to sit on the opposition benches in Punjab and expose PML-N’s tall claims of having majority in the provincial assembly. Majority of the party leaders are of the view that no preemptive step should be taken and a wait-and-see policy should be adopted.
“Now if the PML-N expels the PPP from the Punjab government, this will help the party win sympathy across Punjab.
Moreover, if the PML-N fires PPP ministers, the PPP governor will ask the chief minister to prove his majority in the House, leaving no other option but to seek support from the PML-Q forward bloc,” the source said. He said then the PML-N would not think twice before expelling the PPP ministers from the cabinet. However, he said, if the PML-N went for a political blunder, it would have to seek support from the PML-Q forward bloc members.
“Whosoever from the PML-Q benches will support the PML-N government, they will have to face disqualification,” he added. PPP Information Secretary Fouzia Wahab confirmed that the party had decided not to part ways with the PML-N government in Punjab. Adding to that, Senior Punjab Minister Raja Riaz said there were no contacts between the PPP and the PML-Q for the time being.