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Friday, March 11, 2011

Tables are Turned in Islamabad: Shujaat Officially Meets Zardari. Final Showdown Between PPP, SC & PML-N Imminent?

By: Aijaz Ahmed
President Zardari makes his moves
 Islamabad: It was a day of President Asif Ali Zardari in the Federal Capital of Pakistan today as he threw surprise after a surprise at his opponents, indicating that the PPP has finally decided to play its cards and a final battle between PPP, Supreme Court and PML-N is now imminent. The indication was given by a surprise meeting, which was officially admitted by Aiwan-e-Saddr (presidency) itself between the President and Co-Chairperson PPP Asif Ali Zardari and a delegation of PML (Q) headed by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Friday night.

Officially confirming the meeting, Farhat Ullah Babar, the presidential spokesman in his press statement said that the PML (Q) delegation included Senator Waseem Sajjad, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Amir Muqam, Mr. Kamil Ali Agha, Mr. Riaz Prizada and Ghous Baksh Mahar.

The PPP side included President PPP Punjab, Mr. Imtiaz Safdar Waraich, PPP KPK President Mr. Zahir Shah, President’s Political Secretary, Ms Rukhsana Bangash, Ms Fouzia Habib, Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhat Ullah Babar and Dr. Qayum Soomro. 

Briefing the media about the meeting, Spokesperson to the President, Mr. Farhat Ullah Babar said that the current political situation in the country was discussed during the meeting. However, remarks attributed to Ch. Shujaat are quite interesting. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said that the PML would not be a party to any attempt to destabilize the government. He said that the party believed that the present democratic dispensation should complete its mandatory term of five years. Later the President hosted dinner for the delegation.
Choudhries Shujaat & Pervaiz Elahi - the king's men, always?
Embedded with the Supreme Court cases and a decision against Chairman NAB, the rapid political moves by PML-N and other parties were meant to pressurize the president and his party. 'Every political effort was aimed at exerting more pressure on the government at center for midterm elections, and the moves made today by president Zardari are part of the PPP strategy to be unleashed in near future', said a closed aide of the president.

‘The party is ready to take on the judicial activism, and the political strategy of PML-N’, he said. ‘The meeting of PML (Q) and PPP leadership will open venues for future cooperation and joint political strategy against Mian brothers and the judiciary, he added.

Both PPP and PML-Q were in contact for last several months, but no official or unofficial meeting between the two leaders took place in last few months, said the presidency sources. Both leaders met once earlier when Justice Dogar dislodged Punjab government in 2008, but both sides denied such meeting at that time.

'Today’s meeting was not merely a meeting to discuss political situation, it will open ways and means of future cooperation between them in Punjab. The president has invited them to join federal cabinet, which may be quite difficult at the moment', said the party sources. However, the PML (Q) has moved the Election Commission against Unification Block and Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Iqbal. The revelation in this regard was made previously by IH, and today was the mere confirmation. Earlier, both the opposition parties in the province launched a joint protest in the Punjab assembly. ‘This is our strategy; PML Q will continue its legal battle against Sharifs and Unification Block and PPP will only provide support remaining in the background’, party sources revealed to Indus Herald.

The move will also counter pressure tactics being used by MQM in the difficult times just before the local body elections, sources revealed, adding that PPP will counter MQM pressure with the help of its previous allies.

Both leaders ere agreed to formulate a joint strategy in case the Punjab government crosses its limits, and if PML-N makes any further moves for mid term polls, sources revealed. In such a situation, a motion will be submitted by PML-Q in Punjab Assembly seeking vote of confidence for Mian Shahbaz Sharif, they added.

Chess Board is laid, and field is open for all political and allied forces. Every player is playing its moves, but the clever player will win in the end. And who will be the cleverest of all, only time holds the answer, just wait for few weeks.

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