PML-N initiates formal talks with PPP for govt formation

Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have agreed on ‘political cooperation’ after the elections, meaning they will discuss formulas for making a government. In a joint statement issued after a meeting in Lahore on Sunday, the two parties said they would cooperate to bring stability to Pakistan. “The people have given us the mandate. We won’t disappoint them,” it said. Shehbaz Sharif arrived at the Bilawal House in Lahore on Sunday for the second round of talks. He was accompanied by Saad Rafique, Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer, Ahsan Iqbal and Azam Nazeer Tarar. Both Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari represented the PPP in the meeting. The statement added that the two sides have exchanged proposals on how to form a government, which will be placed before the PPP’s Central Executive Committee. One round of talks has already been completed between the two parties. Shehbaz Sharif had met Asif Zardari and Bilawal in Lahore on Friday, hours after a speech by Nawaz Sharif. The PPP’s CEC is expected to meet in Islamabad on Monday at 7pm. The PPP and PML-N have emerged as the second and third largest group after the elections with 75 and 54 seats in the National Assembly respectively. Zardari is expected to meet PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The meeting between the PML-N, the PPP came hours after a delegation of MQM-P leaders called on PML-N leadership in Lahore. Although the Karachi based party was mum on any talks related to cooperation, PML-N’s Azam Nazeer Tarar confirmed that his party sought recommendations from the MQM-P on the coalition government formation. The party would share the recommendations with its working committee. Bilawal’s name being discussed for PM Talks between PPP and PML-N are discussing the option of fielding Bilawal for the slot of prime minister, sources claimed on Sunday. With Bilawal’s name under consideration for PM, they added that Sharif’s name is being discussed for the president’s office. The formula could also include the name of Yousaf Raza Gillani as speaker of the National Assembly.