Tahirul Qardi’s long march brings PPP, PMLN closer

LAHORE: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf made a telephone call to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, President of PML-N, on Friday afternoon and discussed with him the political situation in the country. Both leaders agreed that democracy is the way forward and the people of Pakistan would not allow any attempt to derail the democratic process.

Talking to the PM, Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan had lived with the horrors of so-called slogans of revolutions and long marches, adding the best way to ascertain the people’s wishes was through ballot. The PM said that restoration of democracy was due to arduous struggle of political forces in the country.

Taking Tahirul Qadri’s ‘long march’ threat seriously, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf took them into confidence that the government is determined to hold elections on schedule irrespective of the threats being hurled by the chief of Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran.

He said that it was a sign of political maturity that all the political forces were on the same page as far as need for continuity of democratic process was concerned.

Prime Minister Ashraf reiterated that the government was committed to hold fair, free and transparent elections in the country as per the Constitution.

He assured Nawaz Sharif that all necessary steps would be taken to achieve this objective.

Sources privy to the conversation said the Prime Minister and the PML-N President agreed to form a six member committee comprising both the parties to finalise an election date and formation of caretaker government.

A formal announcement about the committee would be made next week. The sources said the PML-N is expected to nominate Senator Ishaq Dar, Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq and Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi. The government may be represented by Syed Khursheed Shah, Mian Raza Rabbani and Farooq H Naek.