PML-N gives 48-hour ultimatum to PPP

LAHORE: Accusing the presidency of backing a ‘smear campaign’ against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-N on Monday gave a 48-hour ultimatum to the Pakistan People’s Party to stop the drive or be ready for a befitting response.

‘All the leads are pointing towards the presidency. So far we have been restraining ourselves for the sake of democracy and the Charter of Democracy, but if the drive does not come to a halt within 48 hours, we’ll give a befitting reply,’ PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal said at a press conference.

Dismissing the ultimatum, presidency’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the PML-N was welcome to do whatever it wished.

Warning that the PML-N had ‘a 100 times more stories’ to expose PPP’s wrongdoings, Mr Iqbal said the purpose of the smear drive was to divert public attention from the issues of rental power and Steel Mills, sugar scandals and former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s trial.

He said the PML-N would neither get de-tracked from its agenda nor allow others to do so.

He said the agenda comprised immediate trial of Gen (retd) Musharraf for high treason, accountability of those responsible for the sugar crisis, discussion on rental power projects in parliament and purging the PIA of ‘cronies’ of President Asif Ali Zardari who, he alleged, were plunging the national airliner into a deep financial crisis.

The PML-N leader said the government should tell the nation what measures it was taking for tackling price hike.

He said Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani should identify the elements sabotaging his efforts to save the system and avoid a confrontation between the two major political players.

Replying to a question, he said the government would have to face the fallout of the smear campaign, but the PML-N would fight for the Constitution and democracy and not allow any adventurer to play with the future of the country.

He said the PML-N was insisting on Gen (retd) Musharraf’s trial for his action of Nov 3, 2007, because it had not been provided constitutional cover and there was no legal obstacle in bringing the army ruler to justice.

He said it was a popular demand vindicated in a recent public opinion poll.

He said the prime minister could play the role of a bridge between the PPP and the PML-N but he would have to keep in view the public aspirations.

Farhatullah Babar said the presidency was being maligned without any proof or logic. He urged the PML-N to respond to the allegations levelled against it instead of indulging in finger-pointing.

He said the PPP had replied to character assassination campaigns against its late leader Benazir Bhutto, instead of taking refuge under one cover or the other.

Replying to a question, he said a tussle between political players would benefit the forces which wanted to defame politicians and political parties. He said the PPP condemned such smear campaigns.

Mr Babar said the PPP did not want confrontation with any party and for this reason it had formed coalition governments in the provinces where it could have easily sailed through alone.


PPP, ANP face opposition’s flak on Swat deal

ISLAMABAD: No one will be allowed to challenge the writ of the government and the policy of negotiations can be reviewed if peace is not restored in and around Malakand, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told the National Assembly on Friday.

The Prime Minister said the will and resolve of the government and people of Pakistan in combating extremism and militancy was unshakable.

There is a need to stand united in the fight against terror, the premier said, while stressing upon the need for a bipartisan policy on the issue.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader Wasim Sajjad said the government had no writ in Malakand and the situation was getting out of control.

Heated arguments ensued as opposition benches roared against the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Awami National Party (ANP) on making peace with an enemy that has nefarious designs.

Ayaz Amir of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had the most to say against Taliban gains in the northwest. He said that despite the Pakistan army being the sixth largest in the world, it could not stop the fragmented Taliban from overtaking several districts in the North West Frontier Province.

PPP decision on Punjab coalition likely today

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party will decide on Wednesday whether it will join the Pakistan Muslim League-N government in Punjab or sit in the opposition, PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab told Dawn on Tuesday.

President Asif Ali Zardari has called a meeting of PPP leaders on Wednesday to seek their opinion about joining the Punjab government. The party’s senators, MNAs, MPAs and senior leaders will attend it.

If the PPP decides against an alliance with the PML-N in Punjab, confrontation between the two will continue and the PML-N, which had quit the federal cabinet in May last year, may not join the PPP at the centre.

‘It is expected that the PPP will not be part of the ruling alliance in Punjab because a majority of the party’s MPAs have already conveyed to President Zardari their reservations and authorised him to take a decision,’ Ms Wahab said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called on President Zardari on Tuesday and discussed with him various issues, including the Punjab government, Friends of Pakistan group’s conference in Tokyo and the visit of top US officials.

Sources said the prime minister wanted the PPP to join the PML-N in Punjab, but the president was reluctant.

The United States has urged the two parties to shun their differences and work together because it fears that a confrontation between them could affect the government’s resolve to combat terrorism.

‘It is a desire of the Americans that we (PPP and PML-N) should become political allies, but they don’t know the ground realities which repel the two parties,’ Fauzia Wahab said.

Source: Dawn News

PPP, PML-N to work in collaboration in center, Punjab: Mukhta

GUJRAT: Federal Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar Monday said all the matters have been sorted out in the meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Talking to media here, the minister said People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-N will work in association in Federation and Punjab province.

Ahmed Mukhtar said the Chaudhry brothers wanted to make a come back in the game but all their plans have fizzled out.

He said Governor Punjab is not being replaced and no such demand has been made by PML-N.

The Defence Minister said only time will tell how independent the judiciary really is and to what extent it would come up to the expectations of the people.

He said British and US experts are imparting gorilla training to the FC personnel.

PPP, allied parties to make country stronger: Shah

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said on Monday that Pakistan People Party (PPP) wants to make the country stronger under the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari, Altaf Hussain and Asfandyar Wali Khan.

Shah said this while speaking to media persons after visiting the mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah here.

He said that the government would introduce new legislations aimed at provision of rights to the people. These new laws would be acceptable to the people too, he said.

Chief Minister said that the government would provide social and economic rights to the people of Sindh.

Presence of democratic person at presidency proved: Riaz

LAHORE: Pakistan People Party (PPP) Punjab’s Parliamentary Leader Raja Riaz said on Monday that restoration of deposed judges had proved the presence of a democratic person at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

Speaking to newsmen here, he said that any dictator could not make such decisions.

He said that PPP wanted to reinstate all deposed judges, but could not do so over fears of collision among institutions. Riaz said that restoration of judiciary would strengthen the democracy.

Some elements who want to derail the democracy have failed in their motives, he said.

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PPP always caused damage to country: Aijaz

ISLAMABAD: Central leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Q Aijaz-ul-Haq Tuesday said Pakistan People’s Party always caused damage to the country.

Addressing a press conference here, he said PML-N and Q should join hands now. “Together they can form government in Punjab,” he added.

Aijaz-ul-Haq said in order to sort out the issues, Governor rule be ended in Punjab and a party with majority be allowed to form government there.

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PPP, PML-N agree on reconciliation: Fazl

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that Pakistan People Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) have agreed in principle to reconcile on all disputed matters and only modalities need to be worked out.

Addressing a news conference after meeting with PML-N leader here on Friday, he said: “President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have extended full cooperation in reconciliatory efforts being made by him and Asfandyar Wali Khan.”

“Both parties have agreed to resolve basic controversial points,” he said.

Rehman, however, refused to disclose the details of understanding reached between PPP and PML-N.

“I will never say anything which may cause a political loss to any party,” he added.

To a question, JUI-F chief said that he was very sure about the progress made in the reconciliation and added there was a difference between closed-door meetings and public addresses.

Commenting on JI Amir remarks, Rehman hoped that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Mian Nawaz Sharif would not be misled by Qazi Hussain Ahmed.

Senate Polls: PML-N, PPP discuss seat adjustment in Punjab

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League (N) has contacted Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for seat adjustment in Punjab for senate elections.

PPP Secretary General Jahangir Badar met with PML-N President and Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif in Raiwind.

Talking to Geo News after the meeting, Jahangir Badar said Mian Shahbaz Sharif has assured him that PML-N would continue its support for the continuation of democratic process.

Badar added that consensus on seat adjustment in Punjab would leave positive impact on the masses.

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