ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday was advised by leaders of the allied parties not to take a hasty decision on the subsidies on petroleum prices and rather wait and buy time till conclusion of US visit of foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and DG-ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as both the visits may help Pakistan make gains on political and economic fronts.
PM Sharif who started consultation process with the leaders of the allied parties to help develop a strategy on the compelling requirement to either withdraw subsidies on petroleum products and other edible items or go for snap polls.
Sources in the ruling coalition told this scribe that the consultation process had been launched in view of the decisions made by the ruling party’s top leadership meeting held at London and chaired by the party chief Nawaz Sharif.
PM Shehbaz also held talks with PPP supremo Asif Zardari and discussed the way forward keeping in view the rising inflation and the possible measures to tackle the challenges on political and economic front.
The sources quoted Mr Zardari as telling the premier not to worry and wait till the completion of the US visit by foreign minister Bilawal Zardari and Director-General of the ISI Lt. Gen Nadeem Anjum who is on a US visit these days.
The sources said that Mr Zardari also urged Premier Sharif to hold fresh talks with the friendly countries especially China and try an get a relief package which would help the new government respite in dealing with the issues at hand.
The sources said that Shehbaz Sharif met with MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui who told the premier not to take the burden of withdrawing subsidies and rather prepare for polls after necessary electoral and other reforms.
MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that Siddiqui told the premier that MQM was ready for polls but after census and necessary reforms as per the promises made with the allied party. He said the MQM was not in favour of a blanket subsidy for necessary subsidy must be given to help the poor meet their both ends’ meet.
However, a ruling party source said that the MQM had advised the premier not to go for snap polls as the PTI fever would defeat the ruling coalition.
Meanwhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also met with the premier and advised him not to go for early polls. Fazl told the premier to hold fresh talks with the IMF and try to earn some breathing space so as the rising popularity of Imran Khan could be tackled.
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