PPP unlikely to join hands with PML-N if Nawaz projects himself as PM: Khursheed Shah

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left) meets PPP senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah in Karachi on September 28, 2023. — PPI
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left) meets PPP senior leader Syed Khursheed Shah in Karachi on September 28, 2023. — PPI 
  • PPP’s Shah slams Nawaz for “wishing” to become prime minister.
  • PML-Q’s Salik says party to mull over Nawaz-led PML-N’s offer.
  • PTI’s Qaiser wonders why PM hopeful Nawaz delivered speech.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Khursheed Shah said Friday that his party was unlikely to join hands with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) if Nawaz Sharif portrays himself as the next prime minister.

Although not all results have been issued yet, and the ones available are unofficial, PML-N supremo Nawaz has claimed that his party has emerged as the “single-largest party”, inviting others to join forces and form the next government.

“Nawaz Sharif wishes to become the prime minister […] but I don’t my party will form a coalition with him if he projects himself as the premier,” Shah told Geo News, hours after the world’s fifth-biggest democracy voted to elect its leaders.

Shah, whose party wants to see PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari as the next premier, said Nawaz’s announcement was “premature” and said that he had declared himself as the prime minister three days back — an apparent reference to the ads that the PML-N had published in different news dailies.

The PPP stalwart, who has also served as a federal minister, noted that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates also have 72 hours to join any party once the official results are out.

“We will take decisions after due deliberations,” Shah said, as he further slammed Nawaz, wondering: “What majority does the PML-N have?”

Nawaz, the PML-N’s candidate for the premiership, said earlier that he seeks to form a united government after his party “emerged victorious” in the February 8 general election.

“I have tasked Shehbaz Sharif to meet Fazlur Rehman, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, and Asif Ali Zardari today,” Nawaz told a charged crowd in Lahore’s Model Town, which was there to listen to his “victory speech”.

Meanwhile, PML-Quaid’s Chaudhry Salik Hussain told Geo News that his party would consider PML-N’s proposal tomorrow once all his party’s candidates’ results are in.

“We will discuss and see whose manifesto is better — be it PPP or PML-N,” Salik said, as he did not flat-out refuse Nawaz’s offer to join hands.

In response to Nawaz, PTI leader Asad Qaiser, who has secured a National Assembly constituency, said that the PTI emerged as the single-largest party in the Feb 8 vote.

“The government machinery was used against us.” Additionally, he mentioned: “We have three to four options, and we are also considering intra-party elections. We will also approach the court. Tomorrow, we will decide the future course of action.”

“But I don’t understand the reason behind Mian sahib’s speech,” he said, slamming the PML-N supremo.

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