ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, who is expected to become the next prime minister, on Sunday met former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to discuss the current political situation in the country, on the eve of a crucial session of Parliament which will elect the new premier.
The meeting between the three top Opposition leaders took place at the Bilawal House here, hours after they ousted Imran Khan as the prime minister after the cricketer-turned-politician lost the no-confidence vote in the National Assembly.
During the meeting, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership congratulated Sharif, President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and thanked him for his efforts in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition to ensure the success of the no-confidence motion against Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
The two sides discussed electoral reforms and pledged to work together in the public interest, Geo News reported.
Sharif is likely to form a coalition government and give some of the key ministries to PPP, ARY TV reported.
Earlier in the day, Sharif, who is the joint Opposition candidate, submitted his nomination papers at the National Assembly Secretariat to contest the re-election for the slot of the prime minister.
PTI's Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former foreign minister, also submitted his papers for the same post.
The National Assembly Secretariat announced that the nomination papers of both candidates were scrutinised, after which they were accepted.
Babar Awan, a senior PTI leader challenged Sharif’s candidature saying that the PML-N faced several court cases, SAMMA TV reported.
As the scrutiny of nomination papers was being carried out, both Awan and Qureshi ran into a heated exchange with the NA secretary over Sharif's nomination and when the official tried to explain a rule Qureshi repeatedly shouted, “This is not your job!” Awan said the Constitution requires a candidate to be honest, but Sharid faced several cases.
PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan said that the secretary had allowed extra time to enable the PTI leaders to challenge the nomination. He also said that only the speaker could hear the objections. Qureshi reacted by saying that PML-N had resorted to rigging though it was yet to take power.