ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is meeting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad tonight for the long awaited showdown that has plagued the relationship of their political parties. Sources say that key party leaders from PPP and PML-N will also attend the meeting.
The meeting is set up in the light of PML-N's 10-point agenda and the conflict in the Punjab Government. The Prime Minister has said that he will inform Chief Minister Punjab about steps he has taken so far on the proposed 10-point agenda.
To discuss the findings of this meeting, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has also called a party meeting at Punjab House in Islamabad on Friday.
Earlier today, President Asif Ali Zardari and Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh and his economic team met at the Presidency to discuss the economic plan proposed in the 10-point agenda..
The meeting comes in the wake of a briefing Hafeez Sheikh gave to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, where other senior coalition members were also present. After the briefing the prime minister said that the PPP wants to follow its reconciliation policy and not confront parties.
The ten points
- Election commission reforms
- Framing a new accountability law
- Reduction in cabinet size
- Implementation of Supreme Court decisions
- Recovering of defaulted loans
- Formulating an energy plan
- Restructuring loss making public sector enterprises
- Revising the formula for determining fuel prices
- Thirty per cent cut in expenditure
- Resolving chronic sugar crisis
The ongoing tussle
The Prime Minister came out with a confident statement and said that the implementation of the 10-point agenda would take time.
The PPP and PML-N held the final round of talks in Islamabad which came after several days of hostilities between the two parties. PPP’s economic team met the PML-N delegation and discussed to improve Pakistan’s economy proposed in the 10-point agenda.
Conclusively, another meeting was summoned by the PPP with the Punjab ministers in Islamabad on Thursday while the PML-N has summoned a meeting of its leaders on Friday.
The fate of their coalition in Punjab, and their future relationship, hinges on the outcome of this meeting. PML-N members insist it would be their last meeting with the government as the 45-day deadline for the implementation of its demands ends on February 24.
The PML-N held a meeting of its members in Raiwind to discuss the course of action to be taken with respect to the PPP. While there are some reports that the PML-N has decided to split ways with the PPP in Punjab, a formal announcement was made that would be made in the next 48 hours. No PML-N leader was willing to comment on the details.
Meanwhile, the Unification Bloc in the Punjab Assembly announced the names of Atta Maneka and Dr Tahir Ali Javed for minister slots, during a meeting between the bloc members. In response, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) issued show cause notices to 15 Unification Bloc members.
The party will refer to the Election Commission if the Unification Bloc does not respond to its show cause notices within three days.
As the final meeting between negotiators of the PPP and the PML-N on the latter’s 10-point agenda ended inconclusively on Tuesday, both parties returned to their respective corners to draw out a future line of action. Though negotiators from the PML-N have not commented openly on the failure of the talks, or otherwise, the positioning of the PPP-led government’s principal opposition has been telling.
Already having adopted a noticeably harsher tone against the federal government as of late, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s latest broadside against the ruling PPP came in an address in Kot Mithan on Tuesday, where he said that no progress had been made in the implementation of the 10-point agenda handed to them by his party.
Today, Nawaz Sharif said that President Zardari had Sharif and his brother Shahbaz disqualified through the Court of former Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar and imposed Governor's rule in Punjab while he was addressing his party workers in Lahore.
Nawaz also said that he kept silent for 3 years despite all irregularities and corruption under the present government has put the country into serious trouble. Nawaz also promised that experts from PML-N could rescue the country from the present situation.
The PML-N chief also added that foreign aid should be refused as it is swallowing national integrity and those who toppled his government in 1999 should be punished.
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