Opposition to chalk out its anti-PTI agenda tomorrow - GulfToday

Opposition to chalk out its anti-PTI agenda tomorrow


Maulana Fazlur Rehman. File

Tariq Butt

A multi-party conference has been called by Jamiat Ulemae Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to decide the next course of action in the anti-government campaign by the opposition, his spokesperson said on Sunday.

The conference, to which a total of nine parties have been invited, will be held in Islamabad on Tuesday and hosted by the JUI-F chief.

Among those personally invited by Rehman are Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

Among the other parties invited are Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) and Jamiat Ahle Hadith.

Rehman will brief the attendees on ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’ of the ‘Azadi’ protest.

He will take them into confidence over “secret talks held to bring an end to the government.”

“Rehman will inform the opposition members on how the government’s roots shall be cut,” the spokesman said.

From the PML-N, a four-member delegation led by Raja Zafarul Haq will participate in the conference, said Ahsan Iqbal.

This will include Iqbal himself, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Amir Muqam.

The delegation was formed after consultation with PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, said Iqbal.

The anti-government campaign by the opposition, which started a long march led by JUI-F on Oct.27 from Karachi to Islamabad and was followed by a two-week-long sit-in in the capital, was called off on Nov.13 apparently on the assurance of “powers that be.”

JUI-F’s Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri had disclosed that Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had assured the JUI-F (during the sit-in) that the premier would resign and the assemblies will be dissolved. “We had ended our sit-in after getting certain assurances by some trustworthy persons and Elahi had become a guarantor,” he had claimed.

Rehman had also later claimed the sit-in had cut the “roots of the Imran Khan government” and it would fall within months.

However, Elahi has declared that JUI-F had not been given any assurances regarding resignation of Imran Khan and dissolution of assemblies to end its Islamabad sit-in.

Commenting on a statement of Haideri, Elahi said: “No such assurances -- resignation of the prime minister or dissolution of assemblies - were given to the JUI-F (chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman) to end its Islamabad sit-in.”

Elahi, however, denied that any such assurances were ever given to the JUI-F.

“We had made it clear on the very first day (of parleys with the JUI-F) that neither there will be a resignation of the premier, nor the assemblies be dissolved,” he said, adding the government and its coalition partners were on “the same page” to steer the country out of prevailing economic crisis.

“The Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) is an ally of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government and we have a unanimous strategy under the leadership of Imran Khan,” the senior PML-Q leader said in a statement.

Elahi also indirectly suggested the premier should show big-heartedness and learn to forgive his political opponents.

“This is the holy month of Rabiul Awwal in which benefactor of the mankind Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had come into the world. We should learn to forgive the creatures of God by practicing his Seerat as in it lies goodness for all,” he said.

Elahi made it clear that during talks between the government and the opposition, the former was also given no guarantee that after the sit-in ended the latter would change its attitude towards it.

A coule of days ago the Rehber Committee of the opposition parties has decided to open all highways and roads countrywide. Its convener and JUI-F leader Akram Durrani said.

After a meeting of the Rehbar, he told reporters that in order to continue pressure on the government, the opposition’s joint public meetings would be organised at the districts level.

Durrani reiterated the demand for the prime minister’s resignation and said the opposition parties called for hearing of the foreign funding case against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on a daily basis.

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