The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will not take jibes at each other. This was announced by the leadership of both parties in an attempt at damage control after days of indirect criticism.

There was also a telephonic conversation between the PDM chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Both sides agreed to resolve differences.

After saying a “selected leader” is in the works a few days ago, PML-N VP Maryam Nawaz now denied the reports of differences with Bilawal while speaking to reporters in Lahore. She said the PML-N and PPP have their own strategies, adding that the alliance is intact nonetheless. She made this statement a day after Bilawal asked his party leaders and workers to refrain from making statements against the PML-N.

In response to Maryam’s selected remarks, Bilawal had said the PPP was not like a “Lahore-based selected party”. While he also termed Nawaz Sharif’s struggle against the establishment a new found hobby of the former premier.

But, the fresh developments showed that a patch-up between the PML-N and PPP is on the cards. The leadership of both parties have asked their leadership not to make any statement that could harm the joint opposition alliance. And Zardari and Fazl’s phone call have led credence to these reports.

But all is still not well in the PDM. The PPP and PML-N have two issues, in addition to the mass resignations, that needed to be resolved i.e. NA-249 seat in Karachi, and the slot of the Senate Opposition Leader.

After PPP’s refusal to quit parliament, the differences had started growing within the PDM. These differences widened after PPP allegedly fielded its own candidate on the Senate opposition leader slot which was promised to the PML-N.

Despite the PDM insistence, the PPP has refused to back down, saying it is the biggest opposition party in the Senate and has every right to field its candidate. While the PML-N believes that as per decisions made in the PDM meeting, the Senate opposition leader seat belongs to its nominee. Other PDM parties, on the other hand, are trying to mediate between the two.

The by-poll in Karachi also exacerbated these differences. The PPP has refused to withdraw its candidate on the NA-249 seat despite requests by the PML-N leadership that has fielded Miftah Ismail, former finance minister, on the seat. Now it is PPP vs PML-N in Karachi as well.

Will PDM be able to convince the PML-N and PPP to reach a compromise, it is yet to be seen. The PDM, however, cannot afford to alienate PPP, its second-biggest member. And some goes for the PPP.


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