Zardari, Gilani discuss political situation in Pakistan

Yousuf Raza Gilani
Islamabad, Dec 20: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday reviewed the political situation in Pakistan against the backdrop of tensions caused by the Memogate scandal even as the government denied reports that the President planned to travel to London. Gilani and Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, a key leader of the ruling coalition, called on Zardari at Bilawal House in Karachi tonight.

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah too attended the meeting. This was the first meeting between the President and the Prime Minister since Zardari returned to Pakistan from Dubai yesterday. Zardari's abrupt departure for Dubai on December 6 had sparked rumours that he had fled the country because of pressure from the military to resign over the Memogate scandal.

The leaders discussed the "overall political situation with particular reference to the latest developments", presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said. Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik called on the Zardari and briefed him on the law and order situation.

Zardari also spoke to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on phone and discussed the current political situation. Presidential spokesman Babar contradicted reports in a section of the media that Zardari was planning to leave for London.

"Reports of his leaving for London are speculative and untrue. The President is in the country, is here to stay and there are no plans to travel abroad," he said.


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