Looking in all directions

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In early May 2012, Nawaz Sharif was addressing a public gathering in Ratodero, a town in Larkana district synonymous with the Bhuttos. His host, too, was a Bhutto — Mumtaz Ali, a two-time chief minister of Sindh and the founding leader of his Sindh National Front (SNF) which has campaigned for a confederal Pakistan since 1989 and that has now merged with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN). And for the first time in his political career, Sharif made the surprising admission that he was in love with a Bhutto. “Nawaz Sharif loves Mumtaz Bhutto for standing by his principles.”
Along with this declaration, he mentioned two more things which confound more than they explain the relationship between his PMLN and Bhutto’s SNF. “Mumtaz says he has merged his party with our party; I say PMLN has merged with his party.” This was soon followed by another pronouncement of similarly sweeping nature: “I am pleased to know that Mumtaz’s stance on giving more rights and power to the provinces is same as PMLN’s.”

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