asif ali zardari

asif ali zardari

Zardari and Nawaz meeting

1d ago
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari vowed to protect democracy and agreed to thwart any move to undermine civilian supremacy in the country in a symbolic meeting held against the backdrop of tenuous circumstances on Wednesday. In what was their second meeting since the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power, the two leaders expressed their commitment “to respect and to strengthen all institutions in order to address the many challenges faced by Pakistan including those of security, health, education and poverty for a better future,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister House. The first meeting between the two leaders took place in January this year, when Premier Nawaz and Zardari jointly performed the ground-breaking of the $ 1.6 billion Thar coal power project. Zardari, who was accompanied by PPP Senator Raza Rabbani, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah and PPP leader Murad Ali Shah, reached the Prime Minister House via helicopter. He was welcomed at the door by the prime minister, who was accompanied by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad, before they proceeded with the meeting. The two leaders held both delegation level talks and a one-on-one meeting. “The meeting symbolises that democratic forces, whether in the government or opposition, have to work together to strengthen and carry forward the democratic process,” Senator Rabbani told reporters after the meeting, which he said took place in a ‘constructive environment’. He was careful in selecting his words when asked about whether the government’s strained relations with the army came under discussion. “It was discussed and the prime minister and the government think it is not that serious a matter,” he said, adding that the PPP only wants stability of the democratic process. Similarly, to a question regarding the fate of former president Pervez Musharraf, Senator Rabbani said, “All issues came under discussion [and] we, the PPP, are of the view that no one is above the law.” In response to question about the controversial Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, he said that his side conveyed their reservations to the premier. Asked for details regarding PPP’s suggestions on the matter, he said his party and others in the opposition would unanimously introduce amendments in the ordinance. To a question regarding the absence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who was supposed to brief the meeting about the ongoing peace talks, Senator Rabbani said, “The prime minister briefed the meeting himself and there was no need for the presence of any minister.” According to Senator Rabbani, the two sides discussed the National Finance Commission (NFC) and financial issues pertaining to Sindh. The government and the PPP delegation also discussed the law and order situation, focusing particularly on the ongoing operation in Karachi. According to an official statement, Premier Nawaz and Zardari jointly reviewed the political situation in the country and expressed satisfaction on the progress of political institutions. “The decision to respect the mandate of the people in different provinces was appreciated and continued cooperation between the federation and the provinces was also lauded,” it added. “Issues regarding various legislations, including the PPO, amendments in the Anti-Terrorism Act and future legislative agenda, were also discussed. It was agreed that all political forces should develop consensus on legislation for their effective implementation,” the statement said. It added that the premier asked Federal Minister Zahid Hamid to carry out another consultative process with all political parties to address their reservations. The prime minister briefed the former president and his team about...