PTI, PML-Q won trust vote despite Zardari's 'best efforts'.

KARACHI -- Conceding 'defeat', the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Thursday admitted that it made all-out efforts to save the Punjab Assembly from dissolution, but it was Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan who 'played well' and left very little space for the party and its leader, Asif Ali Zardari, to 'manage things' as he had done in the past.

Party sources told Dawn that Mr Zardari added his weight to the hectic efforts by the key opposition party, PML-N, and flew to Lahore a day before the vote of no confidence to try and push things in favour if its coalition partner in the Centre.

'It was Mr Zardari who, in July last year, played an instrumental role which was even lauded on record by the PML-N leadership for ensuring Hamza Shahbaz's victory in the election for the Punjab chief minister's slot,' said a source.

'This time things were a little different in the sense that the PML-N was confident it could manage things on its own, but realised at the eleventh hour that all is not well. By the time the realisation dawned on them and they felt the need for Mr Zardari's assistance, it was already too late.'

Kaira rubbishes allegations that PPP leader tried to use money for leverage against PTI MPAs

While the PML-N was busy playing numbers in Punjab, the PPP was more focused towards Balochistan, where it had managed to bring key electables into the party fold. The party is also gearing up for the local bodies' elections in Karachi and Hyderabad which are due on Jan 15.

Still, the source said, 'honoring the pledge of his party's unequivocal support for the PML-N,' Mr Zardari flew to Lahore to make a few last-ditch attempts.

Meetings, consultations and backdoor contacts, however, failed to 'manage things' since Imran Khan himself was handling affairs related to the vote of confidence over the past several weeks.

A few candid admissions by senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira - thought to be quite close to Mr Zardari - also strengthened these claims.

'I don't think...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT