Zardari holds consultations ahead of Nawaz meeting

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has tasked opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah with helping defuse the political deadlock. This was decided in a meeting of the PPP central executive committee which took place with Zardari in the chair. The meeting also decided to engage former Punjab governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood in the dialogue process to get the prevailing political stalemate settled. The PPP leaders agreed that they would back the government in both the houses of parliament and not support any undemocratic move against the government. The PPP co-chairman also summoned a meeting of the party’s Punjab chapter. Separately, Zardari and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman talked to each other on telephone on Friday. According to media reports, the former president talked to the JUI-F chief on telephone after reaching Karachi on Friday. The two leaders discussed the ongoing marches in Islamabad and discussed different problems facing the country. Moreover, Zardari will contact all political parties on the current situation, and JUI-F chief has agreed to it. Zardari also telephoned founder leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain on Friday. The two men inquired after the well being of each other and expressed good wishes. They discussed the current political crisis and the overall situation in the country besides other issues of mutual interest. Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Thursday met with senior party colleagues to discuss the current political situation in Pakistan. After a wide-ranging discussion on the subject, Zardari reiterated that the current political crisis be addressed through dialogue and within the framework of the constitution. The party members expressed concern at the “short-sighted and high-handed tactics of the government” and urged all parties in the conflict to resolve the issues at hand without recourse to further violence and disruption of public life in the capital and country. The meeting condemned the killing of PAT workers in Model Town, Lahore, on June 17 and demanded that an FIR be expeditiously registered. The party observed that any unconstitutional path taken to resolve the current stalemate will be detrimental to the future of democracy and the stability of the state. Zardari noted with concern that instead of focusing on providing relief to a million citizens of North Waziristan both the provincial and federal governments had entangled themselves and the country in a protracted dispute.

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