PPP’s assistance to PML-N will be conditional: report

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ISLAMABAD:  As the reports of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) seeking Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s assistance in passing of the already delayed legislation for delimitation of electoral constituencies have surfaced, it has also been reported that PPP’s assistance to ruling party will be conditional.

According to a report published in a leading English daily, some political circles believe that the PPP’s reluctance to support the PML-N government in securing the desired two-third majority to bring a constitutional amendment in the upper house on constituencies’ delimitation in light of the census 2017 has much to do with its efforts to secure seats in the Senate.

The PPP wants to pressure the government into striking a deal to secure some seats in the Senate elections scheduled for March next year.

The PML-N is in a comfortable position to secure all the seats from Punjab’s quota in the upper house in the Senate polls based on the ruling party’s overwhelming strength in the provincial assembly, while the PPP reportedly seeks N-league’s cooperation to win a few seats from the provincial quota in the upper house.

The other condition might be that PPP supremo Asif Ali Zardari wants the elevation of his sister Faryal Talpur as the next Senate chairperson with the support of the PML-N.

On the other hand, some quarters in the ruling camp argue that PPP’s opposition to constituencies’ delimitation bill, despite previously agreeing to the proposed legislation, aims at securing some seats from southern Punjab in the next general elections. Zardari’s party has a relatively better support base in southern Punjab, as compared to the rest of the province where the PPP is reduced to having a ‘skeleton’ presence.

However, a senior PML-N leader has rejected the possibility of a deal between the parties, saying the ruling party’s chief Nawaz Sharif was too inflexible to be forced into any such deal.