Is PPP Gearing Up To Oust Shehbaz For Bilawal In Elections?

Is PPP Gearing Up To Oust Shehbaz For Bilawal In Elections?

With the PTI sidelined as the main opposition party, the PPP is determined to bring party's chairman Bilawal Bhutto into power and oust Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, according to senior journalist Rauf Klasra.

On Saturday, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the party would not approve of the budget unless funds were allocated for the rehabilitation of the flood-hit people as promised by the premier earlier.

Speaking during a podcast on Sunday, the journalist said that the remarks laid the basis of the differences between the two parties.

He added that in July, establishment has to decide whether it wants to side with Shehbaz Sharif or Asif Ali Zardari, who is now clearly standing at a distance from the ruling alliance.

Klasra added that the establishment wants last April's rules of engagement intact between the parties, irrespective of what their electoral narratives will be.

"But the PPP wants Shehbaz out in its last-ditch efforts," he said. "The notion is that the premier was set to depart his office by May 30 had it not been for the PPP co-chair and the JUI-F chief.”

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The establishment is finding the premier quite comfortable to work with, as compared to the rest. His term in power is being compared with Imran Khan's that needed a lot of firefighting by either Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, senior PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi or the Foreign Office over diplomatic issues.

Another element for the continuation of his rule is that he is getting along well with Beijing, the journalist added.

Conversely, Asif Zardari strongly believes Bilawal Bhutto helped revive fragile foreign ties as the country's foreign minister, promoted Pakistan's soft image and advocated its case, and so he should be the one to take the reins.

"The establishment thinks that Bilawal can wait before he comes to power in such challenging times."

Klasra further said that the PPP co-chair want the matters decided on the basis of the votes and seats each party can win, though the main threat will be from Punjab where the PTI chief still exists.