* Gilani wants removal of Rehman Malik, Babar Awan, Ijaz Jakhrani, Haqqani as ‘safety valve’ for PPP’s survival
* Babar says govt still deliberating on post-NRO verdict situation


As political hobnobbing gains momentum in the capital amid behind-the-scenes tension among “stakeholders”, the Pakistan People’s Party is seeking new recipes on the legal and political fronts to deal with the prevailing situation in the country.

The top leadership of the ruling party on Friday continued consultations with political allies and legal experts separately, with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani advising President Asif Ali Zardari that the exit of key PPP leaders from government offices could serve as a breather for the party.

Zardari hosted a luncheon meeting with allied parties – which was attended by the MQM’s Farooq Sattar, the ANP’s Asfandyar Wali Khan and FATA parliamentary leader Munir Khan Orakzai, in addition to Gilani and other PPP leaders – to discuss the situation in the wake of the latest legal and political developments and the Supreme Court’s verdict on the NRO. However, the JUI-F – an important government partner in the Centre – boycotted the talks.

Gilani held an important, one-on-one meeting with Zardari.
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The prime minister told the president that it was “time to act”, as the removal of some key party figures from their offices could provide breathing space for the PPP, Daily Times has learnt.

‘Safety valve’: Gilani believes the removal of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Law Minister Babar Awan, Pakistani Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani, Minister for Sports Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani – including a key party figure in Punjab – could serve as a “safety valve” for the party’s survival.

He believes that with the party engulfed in an unexpected political situation, somebody must make the sacrifice to boost the party’s image. Sources said matters related to the judiciary – including the appointment of new judges to superior courts – were also discussed. A brief statement by presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar – issued after the luncheon meeting – said the meeting discussed the situation “in the wake of the latest legal and political developments”.

Babar said there was “unanimity of views” on the current situation in the country. Talking to Daily Times, Babar evaded comment on the JUI-F’s boycott of the meeting.

Govt deliberating: He said the government was still deliberating on the situation after the SC’s detailed verdict on the NRO, and would attach more documents to a review petition filed with the SC. He denied that Sharifuddin Pirzada held a meeting with Zardari.
Daily Times