‘PPP may not accept ministries in new cabinet’

Asif Ali Zardari says he wishes to give a chance to government’s new coalition partners

​ Our Correspondents April 17, 2022


PPP Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday said he did not think his patty would accept any ministries in Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet, which is yet to be formed since the new premier was sworn in on April 11.

Similarly, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, convener of another coalition partner MQM-P, said he was more interested in serving the people than cabinet portfolios.

In an informal chat with journalists outside the National Assembly hall, Zardari said he wanted to give a chance to their “friends”, referring to the government’s new coalition partners.

Speaking on the occasion, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told journalists that they should “enjoy” their independence.

“The raj of the selected is over,” he added, referring to the previous PTI regime.

“The media should be the ones most pleased with that.”

Separately, the MQM-P convener said a lot could be done for the people while remaining out of the ministries as well.

Elaborating further on the current system in the country, Siddiqui claimed that it was a “dynastic” democracy instead of a genuine one.

The MQM-P leader said there should be the people sitting in parliament instead of families.

“Those 98% Pakistanis who understand the problems of the common man should be sitting here. If they won’t sit here, neither will I.”

To a query about his party’s “reservations” over the premier’s first speech, Siddiqui replied that it was a “misunderstanding”. “He [PM Shehbaz] wanted our input.”

Read  PPP appears reluctant to join federal cabinet

Earlier in the day, the PPP issued a notification, inviting applications for party tickets in the national and provincial assemblies for the next general elections in the country.

 It read that each application should be accompanied with a bank draft of Rs40,000 for an National Assembly party ticket and Rs30,000 for a provincial assembly ticket.

"Applications must reach the party secretariat in Islamabad or Bilawal House in Karachi by April 30," the notification issued by PPP General Secretary Farhatullah Babar added.

Sources said the PPP was more interested in constitutional offices than ministries. After bagging the slot of the NA speaker, it was now eyeing the positions of the NA deputy speaker, Senate chairman, and even the Presidency, hoping that Dr Arif Alvi would soon tender his resignation.

PM Shehbaz has been insisting that the PPP should join his cabinet. However, the PPP, the second biggest party in the ruling coalition, told him that it was more interested in supporting him while staying out of the cabinet.

The premier has been taking his time to form the new cabinet as he wants to take along all allies, especially those who had left the PTI-led ruling coalition and joined the opposition.


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