The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and its arch rival Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are warming up to each other in an attempt to put up a united front against the common foe: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, whom they call the ‘establishment’s party’.
Such a possibility was earlier brushed aside as ‘speculation’ – but now a PPP leader no less than a provincial chief minister has confirmed backchannel efforts.
“A one-on-one meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif is expected soon,” Nawab Aslam Raisani, the chief executive of Balochistan said on Sunday.
Speaking to the media in Quetta, Raisani confirmed that he was playing a role to narrow down differences between the leadership of the two parties and arrangements had been completed for a meeting between Sharif and Zardari.
“The PPP’s reconciliation policy will succeed and anti-democratic forces will soon be disappointed,” he added.
The chief minister called upon the ‘democratic political’ parties to join hands to strengthen democracy and the democratic process.
“Next parliamentary election will take place as per schedule – no one should worry about that. I think those who are joining different parties will get nothing,” he added.
He also called upon democratic forces to sabotage the designs of those elements who are conspiring against the democratic process.
In an apparent reference to Imran Khan’s PTI, Raisani said that “the new political train will stop soon as it has no destination.” He described the politicians who are changing loyalties as ‘clowns’.
The chief minister also quashed speculation that he planned on joining another political party. “I’d prefer living in my mud-house to a luxurious mansion,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2012.
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