ISLAMABAD: With the political impasse showing no signs of resolving, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has initiated contact with former president and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Asif Ali Zardari.
The premier called Zardari and invited the PPP co-chairman for a lunch on Saturday which the former president accepted.
Senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP will accompany their party heads at the lunch where they are expected to discuss the prevailing political crisis in the country.
The meeting will take place in Raiwind for which Zardari will depart from Karachi tomorrow.
The two leaders will meet at a time when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have been holding sit-ins and protests in Islamabad for the eighth consecutive day.
Meetings were ongoing at Bilawal House where Zardari had arrived late Thursday and news of the lunch came after the PPP co-chairman met with Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah.
Earlier on Thursday, Shah had said that he was willing to support PTI’s six demands, including the resignation of the prime minister, but in a reverse order.
Shah had said that PPP would support Imran’s demand for Nawaz’s resignation if it was adequately proven at a proper forum that the 2013 elections were rigged.
Otherwise, the PPP leader had said, he and leaders of other parliamentary parties would strongly resist PTI’s call for removal of the PML-N government.
The PTI leadership has been insisting that the resignation of the prime minister was its top demand. Its other demands include re-election after dissolution of assemblies, electoral reforms, formation of an impartial caretaker set-up with consensus, resignation of all members of the Election Commission of Pakistan and putting all those found guilty of rigging on trial under Article 6 of the Constitution.