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BNP, QWP ask PPP to mend fences with PDM

National

April 11, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Two major parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) -- Balochistan National Party (BNP) of Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) of Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao -- have advised the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to mend its fences with the PDM amicably and play its role to strengthen the forces which are struggling for establishing true democratic order in the country.

The two of remaining nine parties of the PDM, which were known for their proximity with the PPP, have forwarded the advice at the heels of important meeting of the PPP Central Executive Committee (CEC) scheduled to meet today (Sunday) where beside other subjects, future bonds of the PPP with the PDM would be determined.

Well-placed sources told 'The News' on Saturday that the PPP leadership has quietly contacted the component parties of the PDM in last two weeks for ascertaining their views on the recent rift in the ranks of the alliance. All the parties made it clear to their interlocutors that any attempt to harm the PDM could help the elements who are out to ruin the democracy.

"No party should become party in such attempt," they categorically insisted. None of the parties consented to part ways with the PDM. Sardar Akhtar Mengal earlier declined to associate with the PPP in getting its nominated Senator as leader of opposition and opted to stay with the Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) led group of Senator Azam Nazir Tarrar.

The sources reminded that the PPP, that had traditionally close ties with the BNP and QWP leaders, first approached Sardar Akhtar Mengal who advised not to act in the manner that could weaken the PDM. Later he left for Dubai to attend his ailing spouse who is under treatment in a hospital there. He is still in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The PPP leaders also had meeting with Aftab Ahmad Sherpao.

A Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-based party has shown interest in joining the PDM after parting ways with the alliance by the Awami National Party (ANP). It had also paved the way for Pushtoon Tahfaz Movement's (PTM) returning in the fold of alliance that informally attended its initial sittings. But the PTM of Manzoor Pasheen despite supporting the objectives determined by the PDM, now not interested in making return. The PPP has been thinking to setup another independent opposition group.

The ANP is supporting the idea but no other party is prepared to come forward for the purpose, the sources said. The PTM has two members in the National Assembly while the ANP has one in the Lower House of Parliament. PTM Member National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Dawar has said that PTM isn't interested in returning to the PDM. In a brief chat with 'The News' other day, he said that PTM would continue to struggle for the ideals of democracy at its own.

The sources said that the idea of formation of new alliance would come up for discussion in the CEC meeting. The sources pointed out that the PPP high level delegation that visited Asfandyar Wali Khan's residence in Wali Bagh early this week discussed the proposal with the leaders of ANP who have hinted to support formation of an independent coalition of like-minded opposition parties to wage a struggle against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The PPP delegation took message of top leadership of the party. The PPP delegation was led by Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari while Senator Sherry Rehman, Humayun Khan and Faisal Karim Kundi were its members. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Senator Hidayatullah Khan, Aimal Wali Khan and Sardar Hussain Babak represented the ANP in the discussions.

During the meeting, important consultations were held regarding the future of the coalition of opposition parties, PDM. All like-minded parties who want to form an opposition alliance will also be invited to join the PPP led alliance including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the sources said.