Friday August 12, 2022

PDM meeting likely in Islamabad on Feb 4

January 24, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The main opposition parties have decided the tentative date of February 4 for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) meeting in the federal capital to evolve future political strategy after expiry of the Jan 31 deadline, given to Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign from his post, according to sources.

Sources told The News on Saturday, the PDM components parties were well aware that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not resign so they have already set a tentative date for a meeting where all parties would float their proposals to get rid of the Imran-led government.

They said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would present a proposal in the upcoming PDM meeting to carry out long march on Islamabad in the second week of March, adding, “The PML-N has also informally shared the proposal with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl that is also likely to support it in the upcoming meeting.”

The sources said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would face a ‘gigantic’ task to muster support of two main opposition parties – PML-N and JUI-F – for putting in concerted efforts for in-house change in the Punjab and the Centre.

“PML-N and JUI-F are still reluctant to support the idea of in-house change as both think that it will serve no purpose because they want to get rid of the assemblies that according to them were formed as a result of the rigged elections,” the sources said.

The sources said there are feelings among the PML-N and the JUI-F that the decision to participate in the bye-elections and later on in the Senate elections had weakened the PDM stance that was otherwise flying high due to series of successful public meetings across the country.

They said former president Asif Ali Zardari first discussed the issue of in-house change with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and both of them developed consensus to move ahead in this respect.

“Then Asif Ali Zardari made a direct contact with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and talked to him about the proposal of in-house change. Nawaz Sharif was quite reluctant and refused to give his nod citing bad past experiences especially in the no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani,” the sources said.

When contacted, PPP (Central Punjab Chapter) president Qamar Zaman Kaira said “Our party has agreed upon in-house change and all other related issues would be discussed at the PDM meeting. All the opposition parties would develop consensus and then evolve a political strategy to move forward in this direction.”

Talking to The News, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said “It is correct that we have decided a tentative date for the PDM meeting but final date would be announced at the appropriate time.”

“We are not in favor of no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan because we believe that the government can use National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the police and intelligence agencies against the opposition members to counter this political strategy,” he said.

To a question, he said “Now we see what PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will say in the meeting about his proposal of no-confidence motion, then the PDM parties would take decision in this respect.”

To another question, he dismissed the impression that he brought any message of Nawaz Sharif for Maryam Nawaz stating “Both are in contact on WhatsApp so they can communicate with each other without involving any third person.”