ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) Vice President Maryam Nawaz have taken the leadership role of their respective parties after a political iftar-dinner at the Zardari House last day.

Political pundits said that since Maryam Nawaz was leading the PML-N delegation, it was amply clear that the Sharif family had accepted her as the future leader instead of Hamza Shehbaz, the son of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

Close aides of the Bhutto and Sharif families told The Nation that Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif wanted their children to play free as the seniors face National Accountability Bureau references. “Bilawal has been playing the lead for a while but Zardari’s influence is still there. However, now Zardari wants Bilawal to take important decisions,” said a PPP stalwart.

A PML-N leader said Maryam Nawaz had proved her abilities and the party respects her as a leader. “While others will remain (in the party), the leadership is bound to go to Maryam Nawaz,” he added.

There are indications that the senior leaders of the PPP and the PML-N might go abroad to give way to the younger generation.

Separately, the PML-N yesterday organized an important meeting for discussion on the plans against the government.

PML-N meeting discusses anti-govt plans

Maryam Nawaz, other key leaders and provincial presidents attended the meeting.

This week, the joint opposition had agreed to summon an All Parties Conference after Eidul Fitr. Bilawal had said that a single party cannot resolve issues of the country, adding the opposition would devise a joint strategy regarding the protest movement in the APC.

The opposition’s get-together has upset the government amid economic crisis.

Special Assistant to PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan was heard speaking the same language as former minister Fawad Chaudhry while criticising the opposition parties. “The meeting is nothing but abu bachao (save father),” she taunted. PPP and the PML-N leaders believe that Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz will make a perfect team to handle the government amid the economic crisis.

“It’s good that the opposition parties have joined hands. We need to move forward together. The meeting between Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz was much awaited,” said PPP leader Maula Bux Chandio.

PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the opposition had consensus on several issues including the ‘failure’ of the government.

The PPP and the PML-N are ready to see Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz to spearhead the anti-government campaign.