PPP waits as PML-N ponders ‘final decision

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LAHORE – The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), adopting the wait-and-see policy, will show all of its cards after the final decision of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) regarding ending the coalition in Punjab. The party insiders on Wednesday confided that PPP top leadership has directed its stalwarts to overlook all instigating remarks of PML-N leaders and follow the policy of ‘wait and see’ till February 25.
It was also learnt that the central leadership of the party has restricted all of its parliamentarians and ministers to avoid passing hard statements against the PML-N leaders and wait for their (PML-N) ‘final decision’. The party leadership is hopeful that if consensus is developed over the 10-point agenda, the issue will be resolved soon.
A PPP-backed minister, asking not to be named, said the PPP will not show its cards until PML-N’s patron Mian Nawaz Sharif does not make his future policy clear. He said that PPP will not initiate confrontational politics but it was willing to sit in the opposition benches in Punjab, adding that PPP members have been asked to stay calm. However, he claimed that PPP had finalized its strategy for all situations.
He was of the view 108 PPP members in opposition will help alleviate the troubles of Punjab’s deprived masses and will present a strong challenge to PML-N government. PPP stalwarts have claimed that President Asif Ali Zardari was observing the current political situation and had issued guidelines to ‘wait and see’ to avoid confrontation and to not to stir the present political environment. He said PPP will gain more political gains in Punjab if it leaves the government as its ministers were already powerless in their departments.
Meanwhile PPP Punjab parliamentary party meeting, that was scheduled to be held to review the political developments and its arrangements for the future, was postponed to gain a deeper insight into the situation. The meeting was delayed to re-examine the political situation in Punjab and to re-evaluate pros and cons of the PPP-PML-N fresh war of words.
Sources within party circles disclosed that PPP parliamentarians’ meeting will be held under the chair of party’s senior leader Senator Raza Rabbani and will look at all possible scenarios that could emerge.
PML-N has warned to replace PPP ministers with the Unification block which was recently separated from its mother party PML-Q. However, PML-Q and the PPP leadership have unanimously declared the independent status of the Unification Group as ‘politics of turncoat’ by the PML-N in Punjab and resultantly, both the parties, PPP and PML-Q have come close to each other. It seems that the PPP wants to keep all options in hand to play the right card at the right time.