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PPP, PML-N war heats up

Top Story

April 4, 2021

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD/SUKKUR: The war of words between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party — the two major components of Fazl-led Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — ensuing after the election of Yusuf Raza Gilani as the Opposition Leader in the Senate has intensified, with none of the two ready to step back.

On Saturday, PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah Khan said his party had principally agreed that it would be difficult for them to go along the PPP because the latter’s act of getting Yusuf Raza Gilani elected as the Opposition Leader in the Senate was unforgivable.

Talking to the media in Lahore after appearing in the court, he said the PPP’s action was unforgiveable and they should admit their mistake.

He said the Supreme Court’s decision would be the last nail in the coffin of the government.

“The government has been caught red-handed stealing votes in Daska,” he added.

Sana said the country could not move forward unless there was respect for the vote.

He said there was no rule of law in the country and those who came forward by claiming rigging were themselves a product of rigging.

He alleged that the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister themselves were involved in rigging and demanded that they should be disqualified and punished.

He maintained that vote thieves should be brought to justice.

Sana said the PDM would continue its struggle against the vote, sugar, flour and medicine thieves.

He said the PPP received support of wrong persons for the leader of the opposition in the Senate.

“If they wanted to bring their leader of the opposition in Senate, they should have put their demand in the PDM meeting,” Rana said.

Answering a question, he said the dark night of oppression was about to end soon and the country would move forward after the respect of vote was acknowledged.

Replying to another question, he said the PPP had its own opinion on the issue of resignation from parliament and they respected their opinion.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan People’s Party Saturday warned that if the PML-N wanted to bring a charge sheet against them, then they also had a charge sheet and will tell the PDM chief Fazlur Rehman that the PML-N wanted to use the PDM against the opposition parties.

The PPP’s strong reaction came after the PML-N decided to ask Fazl to seek explanation from the PPP for violating the PDM’s decision to appoint a consensus candidate for the opposition leader in the Senate.

“The PDM is the name of an alliance formed against the government and the PML-N will have to explain its use against the other opposition parties,” said Secretary Information PPP Parliamentarians Shazia Marri in a statement.

Shazia said being the majority party in the Senate, the PPP nominated Yusuf Raza Gilani and got him elected as the Opposition Leader, which was not a crime.

She said the PPP and ANP will raise the issue of calling a secret meeting of certain opposition parties in the upcoming PDM meeting.

“We will ask the PDM chief Fazlur Rehman as to why the opposition alliance was being used against the opposition parties and at whose behest a conspiracy was being hatched against the long march by demanding resignations from the assemblies to save the PTI government,” she said.

She questioned why the PML-N was still sitting in the assemblies if resignations were necessary and it was the last important option for them.

“It has been said that the opposition alliance would be run without the support of PPP, while it has been said that the PML-N was not ready to resign from the assemblies without the PPP’s consent,” she said.

Shazia said if the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) had supported them, then there would have been no talk of opening cases against Asif Ali Zardari.

She said all the senators who had voted for Yusuf Raza Gilani were elected as independent candidates.

She said it was a strange attitude of the PML-N asking the independent candidates to prove their affiliation with the BAP.

She said if the PML-N was interested in the position of Senate opposition leader, then they should have asked Bilawal Bhutto Zardari even once, and he would have gladly given them that position.

She clarified that the PPP also consulted with the PML-N leadership for consensus on the name of Gilani as the opposition leader which had also been admitted by Ishaq Dar in his statement.

She said PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah should apologize to the PPP for unopposed victory of their senator with the support of PTI in the Punjab instead of asking the PPP for apology.

Shazia said the PML-N leadership should also apologize to the PPP for the defeat of PDM candidate Farhatullah Babar due to their support to the PTI candidate.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Saturday said Yusuf Raza Gilani's success was indigestible for some friends in the PML-N like Prime Minister Imran Khan adding that "Aar Ya Paar" politics was not carried out every time.

He said this while talking to the media at Jillani House, Khairpur after condoling with Syed Qaim Ali Shah the death of his son Syed Muzaffar Shah and daughter Najma Shah.

Bilawal said some friends in the opposition were opposed to the PPP and they did not want to involve themselves in any controversy because it might benefit Imran Khan.

He said the perception of making a deal for Gilani's victory [as the Leader of Opposition in the Senate] was totally baseless and was aimed at denting the PDM.

He said the opposition should target the government together. He said the N-League should be happy at the success of the PPP but some friends in the N-League could not digest the PPP’s happiness and he was in no mood to pacify them.

“We want fresh transparent elections. The government has stopped economic growth. We will not tolerate any attack on the economic sovereignty of the country. A confused PM has sold out the institutions of Pakistan. We oppose the SBP Ordinance.”

He asked the people around if they had seen such a confused PM in the country’s history. He said a confused, inefficient prime minister had no ability to run the country.

“We will continue to oppose the PTI-IMF deal. The confused PM does not respect the parliament and his countdown has started now,” he said.

The PPP chairman said the puppet government has had multiple failures in the foreign policy.

Bilawal said Pakistan was not even invited to a conference on environment by the United States, while plans like the CPEC have also been put on back-burner.

He further said there had never been such a confused prime minister on the issue of Kashmir in the history of Pakistan as Imran Khan.

“When India makes a historic attack on Kashmir, trying to turn the Muslims there into minority, the selected prime minister says what he should do.”

He said Imran Khan was also minister for commerce. “Commerce Minister Imran Khan says our trade with India should be restored. But in the federal cabinet meeting, he says how we can restore trade with India. What a confusion! His one hand does not know what the other hand is doing. We don't want that kind of confusion and matters should be brought to the parliament.”

He said three years had passed but the government but nobody knew what their policy was.

“The country has been destroyed and the economy has dwindled to a point where the country is ranked lower than Afghanistan and Bangladesh.”

Bilawal announced that they had delayed April 5 Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, as President Arif Alvi had convened a Senate session the same day.

The CEC had to decide on resignations from assemblies after the PPP leadership came under fire from the opposition parties on the issue.

He said the date for the CEC meeting would be decided after the Senate session adding that all the major parties were willing in this regard.

He said the opposition parties’ criticism of the PPP was also on the agenda.

Bilawal said he wanted a united opposition and was positive that the PDM chief Fazlur Rehman would play his role in keeping the PDM united.

Praying for Fazl’s quick recovers, he said it was the PDM chief’s responsibility to unite the opposition parties against the government.

He said misrepresentation was not good for any party adding, "I don't believe any party needs to be persuaded. The PDM was formed to bring the government down."

The PPP chairman told the opposition parties that serious decisions must be taken in politics.

"We do not wish to get into a fight with anyone."

Bilawal said as Shahbaz Sharif was the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, keeping contact with him was inevitable.

Bilawal said he never talked about a national government. He said Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had introduced the idea of public-private partnership in 1993, which was followed Sindh government to generate energy using the Thar coal for the first time.