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After rejected by masses, Opp turning to Parliament: Shibli

Top Story

January 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on Monday that the opposition alliance — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was in tatters, pursuing conflicting narratives.

His statement, through a tweet, appears clearly in the backdrop of the conflicting statements and approaches of leaders of PDM component parties. A few days back, Bilawal Bhutto proposed moving a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the National Assembly. He said this clearly indicated that the opposition parties’ alliance was disintegrated. The minister added that the opposition parties had taken to the roads to hoodwink the masses but now they were turning to the Parliament after being rejected by the masses. He said that the opposition parties would not tender resignations and also would take part in elections. In a tweet, the minister pointed out said Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had been insisting on tabling no-confidence motion, Ahsan Iqbal had reservation on this strategy and PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz had been stressing on the long march.

However, this proposal received a cold-shouldered response from a senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, who said that Bilawal might bring a no-trust motion against the prime minister, if had the required numbers in the House.

PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said PDM would mount a long march if, the prime minister did not step down by January 31. Ahsan Iqbal had referred to the joint opposition’s embarrassing defeat with regards to the no-trust motion against incumbent Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani back in 2019, when despite having about 64 members on its side the opposition could not win to send the chairman packing, through secret ballot. Again, on the much-talked about option of en-masse resignations from the legislatures, the two major parties — PML-N and PPP — are poles apart and internally they faced divisions as well among their lawmakers. While talking to private news channel, Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday said the opposition was neither interested in strengthening democracy nor development of the country as it had only lust for power. The minister said opposition parties knew very well that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only political figure, who would not make any compromise regarding corruption, adding major opposition parties had made massive corrupt practices during their tenures and registered the cases against each other.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday that the opposition lawmakers won’t submit resignations, adding that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is “going through a critical phase”.

Talking to journalists on Monday in the federal capital, the PTI minister said PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s call for resignation will be ignored and underlined that she even failed to convince her brother-in-law to give up Assembly membership. Taking a jibe at the Opposition leaders, Fawad Chaudhry further added that talks related to resignations for the last three months have “turned into a joke.” Fawad said the Opposition members will “continue to work” on the same salaries and that the masses are not interested in the “jalsas staged by the PDM”. He said he had advised Federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Aminul Haq to distribute tablets among the opposition leaders “so that they could broadcast their speeches on social media”.