Despite reaching a power-sharing formula, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are not on the same page regarding the dislodging of the Sharif government in Punjab. President Asif Ali Zardari thinks the move would help the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in winning sympathy in the streets while Pervaiz Elahi is hell bent on settling scores with the estranged bedfellows, Pakistan Today learnt on Thursday.
The sources in the PPP and PML-Q said Zardari and Elahi had differences on overthrowing the PML-N government in Punjab. “In all meetings that took place between the two sides in the last few weeks, Pervaiz Elahi insisted upon including power-sharing in Punjab in the PPP-PML-Q political partnership deal but President Zardari said overthrowing the Sharif government would be an injudicious political move that could help the PML-N to muster people’s support in the streets of Punjab,” said the sources. The source said the PPP top command told the PML-Q leadership to not insist on the inclusion of the formation of a coalition government in Punjab as a condition of clinching the power-sharing deal. “In response, Shujaat Hussain agreed with the president but Pervaiz Elahi said that he was determined to dislodge the Sharifs from Punjab.
On Pervaiz Elahi’s refusal to budge from his stance, President Zardari asked him that the PPP would support his agenda once he succeeded in winning the support of the unification bloc without whose help both parties could not bring in-house change in the Punjab Assembly,” said the source.
The source said Elahi told Zardari that he was on the mission of wooing back the PML-Q dissident MPAs and sought federal government’s help in this regard. “Elahi further told Zardari that even if both parties failed to form a coalition government in Punjab due to an unbreakable affiliation of the unification bloc with the Sharifs, the PPP would have to fully support his anti-PML-N aggressive policy instead of opting reconciliations with the Sharif brothers,” said the source.
A source in the PPP said President Zardari was in favour of continuing his policy of reconciliation with the PML-N and he recently told his party men that the PPP had also been trying to reconcile with the PML-N but it had not accepted the PPP as a reality yet.