PPP Punjab may get nod to be ‘genuine opposition’ today

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LAHORE – The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Punjab is likely to get President Asif Ali Zardari’s nod to play a “genuine opposition” role against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s provincial government, in its critical meeting scheduled today (Tuesday) at the presidency. Party insiders privy to the situation told Pakistan Today that all seven expelled provincial ministers would seek permission to release a “white paper” along with the “proof” they said they had in their custody against the chief minister and his “poor governance” and violation of merit in the province.
They said there was a strong view among PPP parliament members that they should go for an active opposition against the “poor governance” of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. The party insiders said further that mostly members of the PPP in the Punjab Assembly wanted to carry out the “expose” because they had strong arguments and documentation to support their case.
The party sources said that the expelled provincial ministers did indeed possess “great secrets” of the PML-N ministers’ and parliamentarians’ corruption in the provincial government for personal gain. They said the ministers were ready to “expose the real face of the unauthorised cabinet of Shahbaz Sharif” in the upcoming session of the Punjab Assembly on Friday.
They said, however, that the ministers in question would ask for Zardari’s permission in the meeting first to release their “proof” against the provincial government to the media and to adopt a tough policy towards the PML-N in Punjab. They said there was a possibility that the president, following the “politics of reconciliation”, would urge the members not to go ahead with their expose in order to continue with reconciliation in the larger interest of democracy and the country.
The sources also said that another option for future strategy in the province was the adoption of the late former premier Benazir Bhutto’s policy by establishing a “shadow cabinet” in the provincial assembly to criticise the PML-N government after thoroughly checking the progress and policies of the provincial ministers. They said further that the issue of a “shadow cabinet” would also come under discussion in the meeting.
President Zardari has called the meeting of the Punjab PPP parliamentary party at the President House at 8pm today to prepare a strategy in the upcoming Punjab Assembly session starting from March 11.