Zardari is not meeting PM Nawaz in London, Bilawal says

Source: Published in Politics on Friday, April 15, 2016

KARACHI: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Friday put an end to wild speculation about a possible meeting between his father Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with a short post on Twitter.

"AZ is NOT meeting NS," read the tweet, which contained the link of a newspaper article titled 'Zardari ready to meet Nawaz in London'. Using the initials of their names, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal was referring to former president Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif who are currently in London.

A recent report published in Dawn quotes PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan as making the remark, “The prime minister has no medical issues and is only visiting London to present himself in the court of Asif Ali Zardari.”

He was also quick to add that whenever the prime minister came under pressure, he always looked towards the PPP leadership for help.

But in response, Dr Musadik Malik, one of the many spokespersons from the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the PM had neither expressed a desire to meet the PPP leader nor had he scheduled a meeting with him. The PM is only visiting London for a medical check-up, Dr Malik said.

However, when asked, a senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader said that there was every likelihood that the PM was going to ask the PPP to bail him out, considering the pressure mounting on him to have the claims against his family investigated.

In return for coming to his rescue, the PPP may ask for something, since Dr Asim Hussain and many other senior PPP leaders in Sindh were facing serious charges, he said.

Many of the PPP’s detractors argued that last year’s acquittal from much-talked about SGS and Cotecna references was made possible due to a weak prosecution of the case by the PML-N government.

In background discussions, a well-connected PML-N lawmaker admitted that there was a great deal of nervousness among the party’s top leaders following the leak of the Panama Papers.

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