Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Bilawal sees stalemate in formation of new govt if ‘someone’ not ready to budge

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday said that he foresaw a stalemate in the formation of the new government “if someone is not ready to change their stance.”

Another round of talks between the PML-N and the PPP regarding the formation of the new government remained inconclusive on Monday, giving rise to speculation that the two sides will prolong this dialogue until the constitutional deadline of Feb 29 for the first National Assembly session.

As negotiations for the incoming coalition government continue apparently due to the PPP’s reluctance, insiders told Dawn that the party was gradually coming under pressure from different sides, including within its own ranks, to join the government. Another round of talks will kick off today.

Yesterday, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira had said that the final announcement of the new coalition government could be made on February 27-28.

“There are many days left for the National Assembly session. It has to be on the 29th. The decision can be made on the 28 or 27,” he had said while speaking on a Geo News program.

Kaisa had also confirmed that PPP and PML-N were figuring out how to move forward. “Today was the fourth day. Four meetings have taken place,” he had said, clarifying that discussions over ministries were not on the agenda.

The PPP has assured PML-N of its support in the government formation and election of the next prime minister on the condition that, in return, it will get key constitutional offices, including that of the president.

Speaking to reporters outside the Supreme Court today, Bilawal said that the people’s message was that no single party could run the country and that everyone would have to work together.

“In a democracy, you call this process a compromise, which means that there will be a give and take if political parties form an alliance,” he said. The PPP chairman said that after the Feb 8 polls, all political stakeholders would have to form a consensus on the way forward in order to save the democratic and parliamentary system.

“The only way to get out of this situation is dialogue and compromise,” he said.

When asked about the PPP’s talks with the PML-N, Bilawal noted that more than 10 days had passed since the general elections while questions were also being raised about their legitimacy.

He said that technically the PTI was the “single largest [party]” but he had said that it would not talk to anyone. He said that on the other side was the PML-N and the PPP had decided that it would talk to those who came to them.

“But if I have to give a vote to the PML-N, I will do it on my terms… I will not give it on the N League’s,” he said.

Bilawal attributed the delay in forming the government to the “non-seriousness of the dialogue committee.” He said that this delay was not causing him any harm but was causing harm to democracy in the country.

“The faster this is resolved, it would be better for stability and the incoming government,” he said. Bilawal said that the PPP was “in no hurry” and was adamant in its stance, adding that it would not change.

“If someone else wants to change their stance, there can be progress. If they are not ready to change it, I foresee a dangerous stalemate,” Bilawal said, adding that this would not benefit democracy, the economy or political stability.

Bilawal incensed by journalist’s question
During the media talk, Bilawal was also incensed after journalist Matiullah Jan said: “After Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s sacrifice, there should be democracy in the country. But even today, you as well as other politicians, make commitments with the establishment…”

“What proof do you have that I have made a commitment to the establishment? … You have included me in ‘all the others’ … You have accused me on international and national media without any evidence of making a deal with them. We are standing inside the court. You tell me if you have any evidence or not,” he said.

As Jan tried to speak, Bilawal cut him off saying, “This is not how things work. When you practice journalism, you should uphold the principles of journalism. If the Maulana or anyone else talks about the (establishment), you ask him.

“Before accusing me of something, you should present proof first. Even if I had a meeting, was I talking about democracy and the Constitution or I was talking about myself? …If you are blaming me for something, please bring evidence along,” Bilawal reiterated.

It should be mentioned that last week Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman had claimed that former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ex-spymaster Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who was the then-Peshawar corps commander, had guided all political parties regarding the no-confidence vote against former prime minister Imran Khan and the PTI government.

During an interview, Fazl was asked whether the move was a brainchild of the two generals, to which he responded in the affirmative but added that ultimately, both the PPP and the PML-N supported the move.

He had later clarified his remarks, saying that he had mistakenly uttered his ex-spy master’s name.

By admin