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February 21, 2020

Opposition working out strategy to dislodge govt in March


February 21, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Terming the differences between various groups of the Opposition as “smoke screen,” the senior leaders of the groups are in contact with each other on different echelon since the Opposition could surprise the ruling party through a united effort to dislodge the government maximum in a couple of weeks.

They have planned to appoint next month as ‘dead-line.’ Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif will be returning in second week of next month from London and strategy would be worked out for the ouster of the government first on federal level and then in Punjab.

Well-placed sources told The News here Thursday that the stalwarts of the Opposition are quietly maintaining their contacts with the allies of the ruling party which are not happy with the government and made it clear to the major party of the government that it wouldn’t be possible for them to share the burden of government’s policies for longer time which are utterly unpopular with the masses.

“None of the leader belonging to the allies of the government are willing to defend the policies of the incumbent administration and they are grudging that unfortunately the major ruling party has failed in fulfilling commitments that it made with them when they enter into the alliance before the formation of the government,” a leader of an ally of the government told on anonymity.

The sources pointed out that the Opposition wouldn’t resort to any unconstitutional method for ousting the government since more than two options are available to it for the purpose. The decision to dislodge the government through vote of no-trust is very much on the table but the question which has to be sorted out as yet that what course of action would be followed afterwards. Once the government is ousted through no-confidence, new leader of the House would be picked from within the PTI or it should be from the outside, would be a question to be pondered before making final push.

The Opposition has reached to the conclusion that the leader of the House in National Assembly wouldn’t dissolve the House who is the sole authority in this regard. The sources said that the Opposition’s legal wizards are also working on the matter pertaining to the legal course for challenging qualification of certain leader of the PTI including Prime Minister Imran Khan under Article 63 of the Constitution which wasn’t contested forcefully two years ago when the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and the PPP were in grip of so-called accountability.

The sources reminded that March would be an eventful month and the opposition has made up its mind not to delay any further plan of turning the table.

In the meanwhile, former speaker of National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has submitted the report to his party leadership in London with regard to his meeting with the JUI supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman other day here in Islamabad. The meeting that took place at the residence of Maulana Asad Mahmood JUI member National Assembly (MNA) who is son of Maulana Fazl at hi-tea hosted by the later.

Senator Maulana Ata ur Rehman and leader of the JUI from Azad Kashmir were also present on the occasion. The Maulana assured the former Speaker National Assembly that he stands by the understanding on which he had reached with the other Opposition groups in July 2018 immediate after the disputed polls.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also had one-to-one meeting with the Maulana. He made the meeting with the blessings of PML-N Quaid and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Former prime minister and central leader of the PPP Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also had meeting with the Maulana separately in the light of the instructions of his party chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The sources said that Maulana Fazl made it clear to the interlocutors from the PML-N and PPP that he could understand the position of the two parties on some sensitive issues, but had they taken the other groups into confidence, it could convey better impression.

All the three parties reiterated their resolve to rid of the present government through democratic means. They have decided to enhance their contacts with other parties which are siding with the Opposition. The sources revealed that Maulana Fazlur Rehman has inquired from Sardar Ayaz Sadiq about the health of Nawaz Sharif and hinted that he would visit Nawaz Sharif in London early March. He prayed for early recovery of the veteran leader.

Maulana Fazl also took the visiting leader into confidence about his Azadi March-2 which will be started in shape of huge public gatherings in different cities and culminated in a convention to be held in Islamabad in March.

The government has the inkling of the Opposition activities and moves through intelligence gathering civil agencies. The government is planning to check the opposition through administrative measures and for the purpose various actions are under consideration, the sources added.