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PDM cracks as ANP departs

Top Story

April 7, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) Tuesday parted ways with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a conglomerate of the opposition parties, in protest against a show-cause notice issued to it.

Addressing a hurriedly-called news conference at the party’s headquarters, Bacha Khan Markaz, ANP Senior Vice-President Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said the show-cause notice issued to the ANP by the PDM leadership had been an attempt to damage the party’s reputation and its internal organisational structure. “A show-cause notice is issued within a political party and only ANP Central President Asfandyar Wali Khan can issue show-cause to any member or leader of the party for violating the party discipline,” he argued.

He pointed out that the PDM was not a political party but an alliance of the opposition parties and it could not issue show-cause notice to a component party.

ANP Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who is also central spokesperson for the opposition parties’ alliance, senior party leaders Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, provincial president Aimal Wali Khan, provincial general secretary Sardar Hussain Babak and other ANP leaders were also present.

“At this stage, we cannot go with the PDM and thus announce parting ways with the alliance,” Haider Hoti said. He added that the party would continue its struggle against what he called the ‘selected’ government and its ‘selectors’ and would strive to promote genuine democracy in the country. The ANP leader said that the opposition parties’ alliance had been hijacked by particular parties and its leadership for its vested interests.

He added that the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) made adjustment and political understanding with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam (PML-Q) in the Punjab for Senate elections while Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) fielded its candidate against Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) nominee in Larkana by-elections. “It was the unanimous decision of the PDM leadership that en mass resignations from the parliament would be submitted before the ‘long march’ towards Islamabad, but it was not implemented,” Haider Hoti complained.

He said the ANP had supported the PPP candidate for the Senate chairman and the party had suggested to the PDM leadership to convene an emergency meeting of the component parties when difference emerged over the slot of opposition leader in the Senate.

To a question, Haider Hoti said that as the ANP did not remain part of the PDM, therefore Mian Iftikhar Hussain has also quit as central spokesperson for the opposition alliance while Zahid Khan would resign as its deputy general secretary.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Tuesday said some political parties wanted to do opposition against the opposition parties, which would only benefit the government.

He was talking to ANP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Aimal Wali Khan, who made a telephonic contact with him and informed him formally about the reasons and decision of the ANP of parting ways with the PDM.

Aimal Wali said no party had the right to send a show-cause notice to any other political party.

Bilawal Zardari, while expressing his concerns over some PDM parties’ attitude, said those parties wanted to impose their agenda on the opposition alliance. He said the PPP would form its own future strategy with regard to the PDM.

According to sources, the PPP would give its final response to the show-cause notice and its stay in the PDM after consulting its Central Executive Committee (CEC), which was expected to be held within a week.

Though the date for the CEC meeting had not been finalised yet, added the sources, it was expected that party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would announce the date within a week.

The PPP has decided to adopt an aggressive stance on the show-cause notice and the CEC would decide whether to respond to it or ignore it.

Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bokhari and Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi met Qaumi Wattan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Sherpao in which the PDM show-cause notice and the current political situation came under discussion.

When contacted, Bokhari said the discussion was focused on the PDM, show-cause notice and the current political situation.

He said the PDM was not a company but a political alliance and all the decisions were taken through consensus.

He said all the parties in the PDM, whether smaller or bigger, had equal representation.

“The PPP is not subordinate to any political party to be issued show-cause notices,” he said.

He said the foundation of the PDM dissolution was being laid by sending show-cause notices to independent political parties.

He said political differences in the alliances could only be resolved through dialogue. He said according to the charter of the PDM, all the decisions would be taken through consensus.

He said the real objective was to dislodge the government and not to move against the allied parties.