Zardari`s friends persuade Qureshi to rejoin PPP
Islamabad: Close friends of President Asif Ali Zardari in the UAE have approached Shah Mahmood Qureshi to persuade him to rejoin the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, concerned at the prospect of the former foreign minister joining Nawaz Sharif`s PML-N, a media report said today.
Qureshi is due to return to Pakistan on November 21 and meet PML-N chief Sharif the next day.
In case Qureshi refuses to join the PPP, Zardari`s friends will try to persuade him not to join the PML-N led by the former premier Sharif as this could harm the ruling party`s prospects in the next polls in parts of Punjab and Sindh, The
Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.
The mediators met Qureshi in the UAE on November 18 to discuss the matter.
"He did not categorically refuse to reconcile with the President," the daily quoted a source as saying.
The presidency informed Qureshi that his resignation from the PPP had not yet been accepted.
Qureshi had announced on November 14 that he was resigning from the PPP, which he described as the "Zardari League", and launched a scathing attack on the President.
He reportedly told the President`s emissaries that he would make his final decision after meeting Sharif.
On the other hand, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has claimed Qureshi will join his Tehrik-e-Insaf party at a rally to be held in Sindh on November 27.
The Express Express quoted its sources as saying that the
PPP would not accept Qureshi`s resignation before he returned to the country.
They said the party had done a rough survey in Qureshi`s parliamentary constituency and found he would easily win a by-election there.
Zardari is "very worried" about the possibility of Qureshi joining the PML-N as this would hurt the PPP`s vote bank in upper Sindh and southern Punjab, a PPP source said.
He confirmed Zardari was seeking to bring Qureshi back into the PPP but it was "premature to say whether this would happen".
PPP provincial lawmaker Akhtar Malik, a close ally of Qureshi, said there had been contact between the two sides but did not give details.
He said Qureshi`s meeting with Sharif would "clear 60 per cent of the smoke" around his future.
Malik said the presidency had approached him to reconcile but he had refused and told them that he stood with Qureshi.
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