PPP eyes four ministries in new Punjab set-up

Decision comes after party withdrew from governor position

RAMEEZ KHAN May 08, 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said country’s development was linked with the supremacy of the constitution and the democratic process during a meeting with PPP co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: APP


Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to seek at least four provincial ministries, in addition to two slots of special assistants, the chairmanship of the standing committee, two parliamentary secretaries and portfolios for non-elected members.

The decision came after a delegation of the PPP led by Speaker of National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf held a meeting with Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz at the latter’s office to put forward its power-sharing recipe in the political heartland of the country.

The party’s proposal falls on the heels of its decision taken earlier on Friday that it would be pushing for more representation in the provincial setup given that it had withdrawn from the Punjab governor position, adding that the PML-N was now free to appoint whomever they wished.

During Saturday’s meeting with the chief minister, matters pertaining to the current political scenario and other affairs came under discussion during the meeting, sources disclosed. The delegation included Senator Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Hasan Murtaza and others.

The participants of the meeting agreed to move forward in unison. The PPP had earlier constituted a committee to propose power-sharing formula in Punjab and had held its own meeting a day earlier at Gilani's residence.

Meanwhile, according to a source, as per the understanding, the slots of the deputy speaker as well as of the provincial assembly speaker would be handed over to other coalition partners of the government.

However, PPP Parliamentary Secretary Hasan Murtaza on the other hand denied any such discussion during the meeting, adding that the PPP’s delegation had only gone to the newly-elected chief minister to officially congratulate him on his ascension to the coveted post.

To a question about the number of ministries they hold or will demand, Murtaza said that they will try to clinch five ministries in Punjab but added this has yet not been decided.

He said they will be holding another meeting with Hamza Shehbaz next week, where the power-sharing formula will be decided.

'Allies are like brothers'

Meanwhile, according to an official statement, the chief minister thanked the high command of the PPP for extending full cooperation and said that the “allies were like brothers and friends”.

“Tolerance and empathy are real political traditions, whereas portfolios are temporary, love with humanity should be our priority,” the chief minister emphasised.

He asserted that constitutional and democratic values should be taken ahead with reconciliation and added that the journey of Punjab’s development has started where it stopped four years ago.

“There is only limited at our disposal and we have to work hard round the clock,” Hamza said, adding that the suggestions from friends will be welcomed. “We all are working jointly for the progress and prosperity of the country.”

Sardar Awais Laghari, Kh. Salman Rafique, Kh. Imran Nazeer, Atta Ullah Tarrer and Imran Goraiya were also present on this occasion
Opposition leader in the Senate Yousuf Raza Gilani, while talking to the media, said that the former

ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf never took the steps to discuss important issues, including electoral reforms, with the opposition parties. However, he added, the incumbent government will try to get Imran Khan and his party on board.

He said that Bilawal Bhutto had assured the Supreme Court that the elections would be held immediately after the electoral reforms, adding that, "we have no demand for the slot of provincial assembly's speaker".Baligh-ur-Rehman nominated as governor PunjabMeanwhile, in a separate development, the federal government on Saturday nominated Baligh-ur-Rehman as the new governor of Punjab.

The summary to replace incumbent Governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema with Rehman has been sent to President Arif Alvi.


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