Bilawal Zardari and Maryam Nawaz hold talks in Gilgit. Twitter photo
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz have held a one-on-one meeting in Gilgit in an effort to quell any misunderstandings between the two parties.
In the 12-minute meeting between the two, Bilawal and Maryam discussed Pakistan's political situation and the country's future, as well as the upcoming Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) election.
Later, other senior members of the two sides joined their leaders in the meeting which took place at a hotel where many leaders of Pakistan’s main political parties have been staying in connection with Nov.15 elections in GB.
Insiders said the meeting took place at the initiative of Maryam after she got reports that the PPP was unhappy over Sharif’s tweet in which he had rejected the army’s inquiry report on the Karachi incident relating to kidnapping of the Sindh police chief and termed it a “cover-up scapegoating juniors and shielding the real culprits.”
On the other hand, Bilawal had hailed the inquiry report and termed it a step to “fortify the prestige of institutions.”
The Pakistan army on Tuesday announced removal of some officials of the premier Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pakistan Rangers from their current assignments after finding that they had acted “overzealously” in the alleged kidnapping of the Sindh police chief that had caused “misunderstanding between two institutions.”
Maryam Nawaz in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The inquiry took less than three weeks to complete after Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa vowed to look into the matter following complaints from the opposition parties and police officers’ en masse request for long leave in protest against the alleged kidnapping of the inspector general of Sindh.
PPP leaders said the party had informed the PML-N members about some “inside information” regarding the Karachi incident and the inquiry report about which the PML-N had no clue, expressing the hope that “the PML-N must be satisfied now.”
Despite jointly running a campaign against the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf government from the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Pakistan, the two parties have separately fielded candidates in GB.
PPP vice-president Sherry Rehman said the leaders of the two parties held “cordial discussions” and stressed the need for “strengthening the PDM.”
Despite the threat of COVID-19 and harsh weather conditions, the Gilgit-Baltistan people voted in a complete discipline manner with no reports of violence coming from any part of the region where out of 1,141 polling stations, 577 had been declared sensitive and 297 highly sensitive.
Maryam claimed that some federal ministers were beseeching her party to start dialogue, but the PDM has rejected it. However, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz refuted the claim.
The rally in the city of Multan was held a day after police, on orders from the government, carried out the arrests and banned the gathering, defending the move as necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.
The PPP chairman has criticised GB Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Raja Shahbaz Khan for holding a news conference in Islamabad and asked him to reveal details of "his meetings with government functionaries” during his stay in the federal capital.
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