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Long march: Partners vow to stand by government

11 January, 2013

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KARACHI: The allies of the PPP government on Thursday pledged to remain in coalition with it.

President Asif Ali Zardari presided over an important meeting of the coalition partners at the Bilawal House. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Shahi Syed; Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders Dr Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghauri; PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and MNA Faryal Talpur.

A brief statement issued by Bilawal House said that allies had decided to continue coalition with the PPP-led government. Sources said that collation partners also discussed the current political situation and the next general elections, especially the planned long march of Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri to Islamabad.

Earlier, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat told journalists at the Karachi Press Club that he supported the long march of Qadri. Shujaat said that he was going to attend collation partners meeting and hoped that the government's response on the current situation would be positive. Briefing about the meeting, President's spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the current situation, with a focus on energy issues, law and order situation and coalition matters, were discussed during the meeting.

He said that coalition partners reiterated their full support to the government. The president also hosted dinner for the heads of allied parties. Zardari has said that the government will complete its tenure and assemblies will be dissolved on March 16. He said this during a meeting with the PPP Shikarpur office-bearers and MNAs and MPAs of the district, at Bilawal House Karachi. The party representatives quoted the president as saying that it was not the first time but the PPP has faced a difficult situation on general elections.

He vowed that the PPP, like in the past, will successfully counter all conspiracies with the help of the people. He asked the party representatives not to be deterred by opponents' propaganda and start preparations for elections. He directed them to remain in close contact with people. He also asked elected representatives of the district to focus on completion of development schemes in their areas.

Later, Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan called on the president and discussed the current political situation. Federal Minister Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah was also present during the meeting. Speaking at a press conference at Mardan House after his meeting with the president, the ANP leader said that any attempt for postponement of general elections will be damaging for the country. He said that he will not support Tahirul Qadri's long march, and he believes that the constitution clearly mentions the procedure to bring reforms. "We will not allow derailment of the democracy," he remarked.


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