PML-N and PPP air grievances during committee-level talks

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DNA

Coalition partners — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) — aired their grievances during committee-level talks held on Friday to discuss budget issues.

The PPP, as per the sources, received assurances from the PML-N regarding the redressal of all of their reservations be it pertaining to Budget 2024-25 or the Punjab government.

The decision came when the senior leaders of the two parties met in the federal capital after PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto’s meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif where a decision was made to form committees to resolve the matter.

Insiders said Bilawal, in the meeting, had voiced his reservations over the federal government’s “non-seriousness” towards different projects in Sindh.

During the committee-level talks, PML-N complained about PPP bringing forward its reservations at the time of the budget announcement.

“Even during the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government, the PPP created an issue out of the flood fund during the budget,” the PML-N leaders said.

The PML-N members, as per the sources, said that the Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and senior party leaders were taken into confidence on the main points while preparing the budget.

“Despite these [briefings], the party protested after the budget was presented. This wasn’t appropriate. Also, the PPP didn’t join the cabinet in Punjab and Centre, despite several invitations.”

“Important constitutional positions were also given to the PPP according to its wish,” said sources within the PML-N.

However, on the other hand, the PPP complained of not being trusted by the ‘N’ league.

“You consider us allies, but you do not take us into confidence. The PPP supported PML-N with regard to all important issues including the election of prime minister and speaker.”

During the meeting, the PPP said that they were ready to cooperate but their reservation should be addressed, to which the PML-N agreed.

A day earlier, Bilawal threw shade at the ruling PML-N, again, for “not consulting his party for budget FY25”.

Addressing an event on the occasion of Benazir Bhutto’s 71st birthday in Karachi’s Lyari Town on Friday, he admitted that the “incumbent government is making all-out efforts to steer the country out of the economic crisis”.

Meanwhile, PPP Central Information Secretary Shazia Marri said nothing substantial came out of the talks between her party’s chief and the prime minister.

“PPP believes in negotiations and we will hold meetings moving forward. We are not blackmailing anyone, we’re politely conveying our concerns,” the member of the National Assembly said, stressing that her party has concerns over the federal budget.