PML-N, PPP arrive at compromise deal over Punjab, passage of budget
The PML-N-led coalition cannot afford to lose PPP's support for the budget approval and other legislative processes

at 10:05 pm
File pic of PM Shehbaz Sharif shaking hands with PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto

Islamabad, June 24: The Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government in Pakistan has acceded to all the demands put forward by alliance partner Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) over governance issues in Punjab and Budget 2024-25.

The decision was made during a meeting between the negotiation committees of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PPP held in Islamabad.

The PPP had aired its grievances regarding the distribution of development funds and administrative appointments in Punjab, which the government has now agreed to address, Samaa reported

The breakthrough came after an intense negotiation session attended by key figures from both parties. The PPP delegation included Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Ali Haider Gilani, Nadeem Afzal Chan, and Hasan Murtaza, while the PML-N was represented by Malik Ahmed Khan, Rana Sanaullah, and Khawaja Saad Rafique, among others.

The discussions aimed to resolve ongoing issues and ensure the smooth passage of the budget for fiscal year 2024-25.

Senior PPP leader Nadeem Afzal Chan, speaking to the media, highlighted the concerns in Punjab, including capacity issues and local body elections. He emphasized the PPP’s commitment to non-vengeful governance and effective administration in the province.

The resolution of these issues is critical for the coalition government, especially with the budget session underway. PPP’s participation in the budget session, previously marred by a boycott, signals a positive shift.

The PML-N-led coalition cannot afford to lose PPP’s support for the budget approval and other legislative processes due to a fragmented mandate from the recent elections.

Sources said that PPP’s chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, is expected to address the National Assembly to discuss the budget details, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif likely to attend.

Despite arriving at an agreement, underlying tensions remain.

The PML-N has previously accused the PPP of leveraging critical moments for undue gains, a sentiment echoed during the 20-month tenure of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) before the caretaker setup took charge.

Meanwhile, PML-N leaders met in Lahore, Model Town on Monday under the leadership of party president Nawaz Sharif with several matters in focus, including talks with the PPP over the federal budget.

Senior PML-N leaders attended the meeting where Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political and Public Affairs Rana Sanaullah briefed the attendees on the party’s ongoing negotiations with the PPP.

The meeting also included a briefing on the recently approved reinvigorated counterterrorism Operation Azm-i-Istehkam. Prime Minister Shehbaz gave a nod to the operation on Saturday.

Sources said that Nawaz instructed the party leadership to play a “proactive role” in ensuring political stability. He further urged the party to work together to achieve the roadmap for economic development.