Pakistan elections In No Position To Confirm Bilawal Bhutto On Talks With Shehbaz Sharif


“When all the results are in front of us, we will be in a position to engage with others,” he said (File)

Islamabad:

Amid speculation over the political discourse in Pakistan after the elections, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that his party has not had any official conversation with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.

Speaking to Geo News, Mr Bilawal accepted that his party would not be able to form a government by itself.

When asked if he or his father, Asif Zardari had any meetings with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, Mr Bilawal said, “I am in no position to confirm any such meeting. When all the results are in front of us, we will be in a position to engage with others.”

The former Foreign Minister also clarified that no independent candidate from the PTI bloc had contacted him or any PPP leader so far.

“We are in touch with some independents but no independent from the PTI bloc has contacted us so far,” he said.

He further asserted that the federal, Punjab and Balochistan governments cannot be formed without the PPP.

He told Geo News that the PPP had representation in all the provinces, adding that it would be premature to say who is forming the government.

“We don’t know the whole count nor have independents announced their decisions,” Bilawal added. “No government will be able to solve the public’s problems without addressing the political toxicity.”

He also said that it would be beneficial for the country if a “political consensus” was formed between all the parties.

“The central executive committee of PPP had named me as the PM candidate but if we have to change that another meeting needs to be called and we will decide on how to move forward,” Bilawal concluded.

According to the unofficial provisional results reported by Geo News, in 255 out of 265 seats, the independent candidates, mostly backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), are leading on 92 seats, followed by PML-N and PPP at 73 and 54, respectively.

In the provisional results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the independents are leading on 91 seats, followed by PML-N and PPP at 71 and 54, respectively.

Earlier, former PM Shehbaz Sharif met with PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, at the residence of Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi in the late hours of Friday, Dawn reported citing sources.

PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, in his Friday remarks, said that he had tasked his brother, former PM Shehbaz Sharif, to reach out to major parties such as the PPP, MQM-P and others to form an alliance.

Notably, PML-N and the PPP were the two major parties in the ruling coalition government in Pakistan after Imran Khan’s ouster in April 2022. But, the two parties were at loggerheads during the intense electoral campaign. However, as the counting is nearing an end, no party has reached a majority and would need to forge a coalition.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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