Opposition plans to drive anti-PTI strategy after Eid - GulfToday

Opposition plans to drive anti-PTI strategy after Eid


Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maryam Nawaz leave after the press conference in Islamabad on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

Tariq Butt / NNI

The leaders of major opposition parties have stated that they would devise their future course of action and a joint strategy at a multi-party conference (MPC) to be organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) soon after Eid Al Fitr.

They said that they could no longer allow the government to continue to ruin Pakistan and announced that they would go ahead with their individual plans of anti-government protests.

The leaders of eleven opposition parties gathered at an Iftar dinner hosted by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal and vowed during a chat with reporters that to launch a “decisive movement” aimed at “establishing supremacy of parliament and restoration of real democracy” in Paksitan.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, who was present at the Iftar dinner, skipped the news conference which was spearheaded by Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz, the younger generations of the leadership of Pakistan’s main opposition parties and arch rivals of the past — the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Bilawal said every party had its own manifesto and programme, but they believed that no individual or political party alone could steer the country out of the crises. “We discussed the prevailing political situation, economic crisis and the state of democracy and human rights in Pakistan.”

He said almost all parties had already announced their protest campaigns which would go ahead inside and outside the parliament as per plan, but at the same time they had decided to meet again at an MPC which would be hosted by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who later said that he would announce the date for the MPC soon after Eid Al Fitr, falling in the first week of June.

Rehman said the “incompetent and non-representative government” had brought the country at the verge of collapse. He was in favour of launching a full-fledged anti-government movement soon after Eid, stating that “they are already too late.”

Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao said in the closed door meeting that the opposition should launch the protest campaign only after making “full preparations” as they could not afford to leave it midway. He also suggested that they should take the business community and traders from Karachi to Khyber on board to make their campaign effective.

Maryam, who mostly remained silent during the presser, while responding to a question said it was because of the Charter of Democracy (CoD) that Pakistan had witnessed two democratically elected governments completing their five-year terms.

Though, she clarified that it was not her first meeting with Bilawal as they had previously met when the PPP chairman had visited her Raiwind residence to condole the death of her mother Begum Kulsoom Nawaz and again when he had visited her father at Kot Lakhpat jail, it was their first formal meeting in which they discussed politics.

PML-N’s senior vice-president and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there was complete consensus among all the parties that the present government had “completely failed” in resolving the people’s problems. He said people were suffering from the policies of the rulers who had acquired power after the “controversial” elections last year. He alleged that the rulers had put the “country’s sovereignty” at stake. He claimed that in the meeting they did not discuss at all the ongoing “so-called accountability process.”

Abbasi alleged that they were being denied the right to speak on the floor of parliament, adding: “If you will not allow us to speak in parliament, then talks will be held on roads.”

Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is waging a struggle to rid the country of hereditary politics.

In a tweet, Firdous said the Iftar dinner of opposition parties was an event by followers of hereditary politics to transfer powers to the next generations. She said the participants of the

gathering made fresh vow to protect the looted money.

In the latest development regarding money laundering through fake bank accounts case, Mushtaq Ahmed, the close aide and former stenographer of Zardari, has fled to a Gulf country and moved to Britain. Moreover, Britain’s Border Force has been officially informed about his movement, while Interpol has also contacted officials in Britain for his arrest.