PPP withdraws sit-in call, wants cabinet minus unification bloc

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LAHORE – The politics of reconciliation worked once again in Punjab as the PPP has withdrawn its plans to stage sit-ins after PPP Senior Minister Raja Riaz’s one-on-one meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday.
However, the PPP parliamentary leader in Punjab Assembly cautioned Shahbaz that his government would have to face strong reaction if the PML-Q unification bloc was allotted an independent status in the assembly. The PPP sources said Riaz boldly conveyed to Shahbaz that the party would not endure the entry of the unification bloc in the provincial cabinet. They said the chief minister assured the PPP leader that the unification bloc would not be accommodated in the cabinet.
PPP provincial leaders said the party has also demanded the constitution of a joint committee to ensure the implementation on the PPP agenda, which Shahbaz accepted and the committee would review the implementation of the PPP 19-point agenda. The sources said the PPP would have a meeting of its provincial parliamentary party meeting today (Wednesday) to finalise the names of PPP members for the proposed committee.
Later, Riaz told reporters that he had stressed on the implementation of the 19-point agenda in the meeting and Shahbaz had assured him that the PPP’s recommendations would be implemented. He said Shahbaz’s goodwill gesture had “cooled down” tempers and the PPP had annulled the call for sit-ins.