Asif Zardari demands Pak PM’s slot for Bilawal Bhutto in coalition talks

Islamabad: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif told his party leaders that former president Asif Zardari has demanded prime minister’s slot for his son and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and major ministerial portfolios, local media reported.

In a major development, the PPP has agreed to make a coalition government with the PML-N on the condition that Bilawal will be made the Prime Minister, The News reported.

Shehbaz told the party leaders that Zardari offered, in exchange, the PPP would support the PML-N to make its government in the Punjab province.

The News has learnt from the PML-N sources that Shehbaz Sharif met Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal on Friday night and discussed the future coalition. Party sources said on Saturday the PML-N leaders had discussed different options for making the future government in Centre as well as in Punjab province.

Party sources claimed the PML-N leadership was in a shock as the election results were completely different from their expectations. They said Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and other PML-N leaders were overconfident and the party leadership didn’t pay much attention to public rallies, door-to-door campaigns, mass public campaigns and direct contacts with voters, especially on election day, The News reported.

Party sources added that so far making a coalition with Zardari was the first option the PML-N was exploring but didn’t want to give away the slot of prime minister.

Sources claimed the meeting decided that in case the negotiations with PPP failed, the PML-N would make a coalition government with MQM, JUI-F and other smaller parties. They further claimed that in this scenario, PML-N will make Shehbaz Sharif the prime minister and Maryam Nawaz the Chief Minister of Punjab province, The News reported.

IANS

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