ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are in contact for a reconciliation between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif as the two main opposition parties eye a joint movement against the government in about six months, political sources said.

Senior PPP leaders told The Nation that the two parties had tentatively agreed to launch an anti-government movement after six months as any such move at this time could be ‘premature.’

A senior PPP leader said: “Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have differences and reservations but we all want to have a minimum working relationship. Zardari is ready to go ahead, Nawaz Sharif is a bit reluctant.”

But, he said, there is ‘not a complete no’ from the PML-N. “There is a possibility of reconciliation at least to work together as an opposition. Division among the opposition parties is only benefitting the government. Some PML-N leaders are also active for the reconciliation,” he added.

Another close aide of Zardari said Nawaz Sharif had accepted the PPP co-Chairman’s proposal to launch a full-fledged campaign against the government after a few months.

“The PPP believes for now we can handle them in the parliament and after six months, when results of their (government’s) decisions start coming, we can launch a movement. The PML-N leadership has not rejected this idea,” he said.

Yesterday, Nawaz Sharif decided not to attend opposition’s multi-party conference called by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal chief Maualan Fazlur Rehman. Sharif’s decision came after Zardari’s message of reconciliation.

However, a delegation of PML-N – headed by the party chairman Raja Zafrul Haq - will attend the APC, originally slated for today (October 31). It was also decided that PML-N will support other opposition parties on issues of national importance.

Earlier in the day, the PML-N supremo arrived at the Parliament House and met his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif. The duo reviewed country’s overall political situation.

Last day, Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif entered the National Assembly hall together, leaving everyone convinced that the two parties had joined hands against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government.

PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bokhari said there was a difference between joint opposition and reconciliation. “We support joint opposition. The opposition parties should have a joint stand on government policies but reconciliation is something else,” he added.

Speaking to The Nation, Bokhari said the PPP and the PML-N were two different parties with different manifestoes. “You can’t expect them to have the same point of view on all issues. There can be a working relation on main issues. Regarding reconciliation (between Zardari and Sharif), there is nothing new in meetings between political leaders and these can happen in the future too,” the former Senate chairman said.

Both Sharifs and Zardari are targets of the accountability process initiated by the PTI-led government. The ruling party alleges that Sharifs and Zardari had joined hands to save their skin.

The ruling PTI claims the PPP and the PML-N were expecting amnesty under a National Reconciliation Ordinance-like deal, offered by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

The PPP and the PML-N deny the assertion, urging the government to name the politicians who were seeking NRO. Yesterday federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed alleged Shehbaz Sharif was covertly demanding an NRO.

Yesterday, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari strongly condemned killings of journalist Ehsanullah Sherpao and three others in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district.

In a statement, the PPP Chairman said that sense of insecurity among journalist community was on the rising in the country and the fraternity was already on the streets against intimidation, censorship and unpaid hard-work.

Bilawal stressed that killing of Ehsanullah Sherpao and others should be taken up seriously by the provincial government and there must be no delay in the arrests of the culprits. He also demanded adequate compensation to the victim families and security.

Separately, PPP leader Humayun Khan alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan is behaving like Pervez Musharraf. Khan said that the PM should hear loud and clear that 18th amendment cannot be quashed.

“PTI government is wrong to think that it will be able to scare Asif Ali Zardari by institution of false and fictitious cases against him. Asif Ali Zardari gave identity to Pakhtun nation by 18th amendment. Pakhtun people will never give up their identity,” Humayun Khan said in a statement yesterday.

He said that ‘incompetent governments’ had been imposed in Khyber Pakhtunkhaw and Islamabad. “Jahangir Tareen is running the Khyber Pakhtunkhaw government,” he maintained.