Pakistan former PM Sharif seeks Zardari’s support through Malik Riaz

Lahore : Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s support through controversial real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, to deal with the challenges he and his party are facing after his ouster.

Sharif’s meeting with Riaz at the former’s Jati Umra residence lasted for about two hours. The meeting was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif .

The meeting indicate that some back channel efforts are under way to secure some ‘relief’ for the Sharif family, but a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz insider said that Sharif wanted the PPP to cooperate with the PML-N in and outside parliament, the Dawn reported.

“The Sharif brothers’ meeting with Malik Riaz is important in the current political situation. The former prime minister direly needs PPP support to deal withn the prevailing crisis,” a source said, adding that Sharif trusted Riaz for delivering his message to Zardari to “fully cooperate” with him primarily to strengthen the democratic set-up.

Riaz came close to them by extending financial assistance to Hamza, son of Shahbaz Sharif, who was here to look after the family businesses. However, since the Sharifs returned to the country in 2007, Riaz could not enjoy cordial relations with them due to his closeness with Zardari.

Riaz’s close circle is of the view that in the past he tried to broker a deal between the establishment and Sharif.(ANI)