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HomeNationalZardari meets Shujaat in last ditch effort to 'save' Hamza

Zardari meets Shujaat in last ditch effort to ‘save’ Hamza

Sources say former president receives cold response

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday twice visited Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) supremo Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain to seek his support in a bid to save the current set-up of the provincial assembly till the next general elections. This is the third visit of the former president to the Chaudhry’s House in Gulberg in recent days. Sources said that Zardari wanted to meet Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi – who is the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s candidate for today’s election of the Punjab chief minister – and his son Chaudhary Moonis Ealhi but they refused to meet him. However, Federal Minister Chaudhry Salik and Rukhsana Bangash were present at the meeting. Sources added that Zardari tried his best to convince Shujaat that Elahi should contest election from the PDM platform but he could not get a positive response. His demand for the continuity of the current set up of the provincial government surfaced in view of any bid of the PTI to lead the country towards the general elections. “If the PTI wins the election of the Punjab CM it could dissolve the assemblies of Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to wrap up the current set-up and force the system to go for snap elections. Earlier in the day, Zardari chaired a PPP’s parliamentary meeting at the Bilawal House in Lahore and discussed the prevailing political situation. In the meeting, Zardari reiterated his support for Hamza Shehbaz. “We are with the PML-N,” Zardari was quoted as saying at the meeting with the party leaders. The former president said that PPP was an ally of the PML-N and would share all responsibilities. He also rejected the allegations of “horse trading”, saying that he, being a worker of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, did not believe in such things. The PPP co-chairman said he believes in politics of reconciliation and will continue to do so. PTI Chairman Imran Khan had accused Zardari of “buying” lawmakers to support PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz. Many other PTI leaders also took to the social media and shared posts to blame the PPP-co chairman. On other hand, PPP leaders took to the streets to protest against the PTI over allegations of horse-trading. They took out a rally outside the Lahore Press Club and chanted slogans against the PTI.

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