Feb 28, 2009

PPP man to rule Punjab, Zardari tells MPs

President Asif Ali Zardari told the PPP MPAs from the Punjab on Friday that the next chief minister of the province would be from the PPP.He was addressing the party MPAs, MNAs and senators from the Punjab who gathered in the Presidency to ponder over the latest political situation arising out of the imposition of governor’s rule in the province.Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed that the next chief minister would be from the PPP. President Asif Ali Zardari said that if the Sharif brothers had consulted him after the Supreme Court’s verdict against them a solution could have been explored but they chose the path of confrontation rather than reconciliation.“The PPP has embarked on the course of reconciliation with sincere intentions and does not want confrontation with any political party,” he said. The meeting, co-chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was attended by the PPP parliamentarians from the Punjab. Cabinet ministers, including Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Raza Rabbani and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan also attended the meeting.The meeting also weighed the option of forming a PPP-led government in the Punjab with the support of the PML-Q. It was decided that the party would form government in the Punjab which would be headed by a PPP man.The meeting also endorsed President Zardari’s decision of imposing governor’s rule in the province and authorised him to nominate the next leader of the house in the Punjab Assembly. A source privy to the meeting quoted President Zardari as saying that the Sharif brothers had no faith in any one except the judges of their own choice.Addressing the meeting, the president said that the Pakistan People’s Party is a democratic party whose workers are hardened political activists and they will face the current political situation in a democratic manner. “However, the PPP is also a vibrant political force and is quite capable of facing the current situation with courage, determination and political sagacity and acumen,” the president said. The meeting reposed complete confidence in the leadership of Zardari. A resolution adopted unanimously said that the party stood solidly behind its leader.The meeting condemned the burning and tearing down of the portraits of Benazir Bhutto and warned that such incidents would not be tolerated. It also condemned the harsh language used by the PML-N leaders against President Zardari and warned against turning political differences into personal animosity and vendetta. “Those throwing stones at the PPP leadership should remember that they themselves are sitting in the glass houses,” the resolution said. It also authorised the co-chairman to nominate any MPA as the parliamentary party leader.

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