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PPP acting as ‘mediator’ in PML-N, PTI standoff

ISLAMABAD: For the sake of continuation of the democratic process, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is playing the role of a firefighter by persuading Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to shun its planned million-man march on August 14 against alleged rigging in general polls last year. Parliamentary sources in the PPP revealed to Daily Times that the PPP, despite supporting PTI over its complaints about rigging in general elections last year, is concerned about the way things are shaping up on the political front. Syed Khursheed Shah of the PPP, who is opposition leader in the National Assembly also asked PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi to review the decision of the long march when both met a couple of days back to discuss the appointment of chief election commissioner (CEC). Shah Mehmood Qureshi, however, replied that he can only convey the request of the PPP to the party, whose core committee is authorised to take any decision on it, sources said. On the other hand, the government is also eyeing PPP’s help to convince the PTI to refrain from going for the long march, as it is finding it difficult to talk to Imran Khan, who is not in the mood to listen to anything from the government’s side. PPP’s Central Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira also favours the viewpoint that situation is not ripe for agitation, as the country cannot afford it at this critical juncture when it is in a state of war. When asked about Khursheed Shah and Shah Mehmood Qureshi meeting, Kaira said that as he is no more a part of parliament and is not aware of it. However, he opined that the general view is in favour of avoiding confrontation at this important moment. He said PPP fully endorses the reservations of Imran Khan about general elections.

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