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April 13, 2021

Major parties lock horns: PPP quits PDM posts

Top Story

April 13, 2021

KARACHI/LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced that his party will resign from all the offices of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in protest against unfair treatment and issuance of a show-cause notice to the PPP.

He announced this while briefing the media about the decisions taken by the PPP Central Executive Committee, whose two-day meeting concluded on Monday. The PPP chairman was accompanied by the party’s senior leaders at the press briefing.

“Our version was the same yesterday as it is today; resignations (from the assemblies) are an atomic bomb and should be treated like a weapon as a last resort. Whoever wants to resign should resign but he shouldn’t dictate any other party,” Bilawal said.

He said that politics was done for the sake of honour and equality and he has demanded that the PDM should apologise to the PPP and Awami National Party for the unfair treatment. He said they would not leave ANP alone as they stood with the party estranged from the PDM.

He said there was no precedent of issuing show-cause notices in the earlier movements waged in the country by the alliance of Opposition political parties. He recalled that no show-cause notice had earlier been issued when the action plan of the PDM was not acted upon.

The PPP chairman said no show-cause notice had been issued when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had been given the opportunity to secure five Senate seats from Punjab. He clarified that the ruling PTI would have emerged victorious if they had boycotted the by-elections on the advice of some other parties.

The politics of the opposition against the opposition is unacceptable and the party’s CEC pledged that the PTI regime would not be allowed to sit comfortably, he added.

He said the CEC has rejected the PDM's show-cause notice and has decided to resign from all the posts of the PDM in protest against the inappropriate behavior, procedures and attitude of some office-bearers of the alliance.

“We won't back down from our struggle, we will stand by ANP, and would make all decisions in consultation. Our doors are open to any party that opposes the PTI regime," he added. He said earlier the joint cause of the Opposition had come to harm as the issue of the long march against the present government had been unduly interlinked with resignations (from the parliament).

“Opposition's opposition is unacceptable,” he said. “The PMLN has to decide whether to oppose the selected Imran Khan and the establishment or to oppose the PPP.”

Bilawal pointed out that the PMLN had also tried to snatch from the PPP the right of securing the slot of opposition leader in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said the PPP had opposed the anti-people deal of “PTIMF” (between PTI’s government and IMF) from day one as the details of the agreement between PTI government and the IMF have neither been laid before the Parliament nor made public.

He said this deal is detrimental to the people of Pakistan and the economy as a whole. "This move will be a burden on the poor people of Pakistan. We strongly condemn it and our party demands that the PTI regime withdraws from this move. This deal is not in the interest of Pakistan which endangers its sovereignty and cause skyrocketing inflation through hike in prices of electricity and gas,” he added.

Talking about the issue of Kashmir discussed in the CEC, Bilawal said the PPP and Kashmiri people had a relationship spanned over three generations as his party has never compromised on the Kashmir issue nor it would do so in future.

“The selected prime minister was praying for victory of Modi despite knowing that changing the status of the held Kashmir (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir) was part of BJP’s manifesto. When Modi changed the status of the held valley, the incompetent PM said what could he do,” the PPP chairman stated.

He further said that the Parliament was not taken into confidence on the Kashmir policy nor was it informed whether there would be trade with India or not.

“Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had said that Kashmir was an issue on which he could not err even in his sleep. But there is one Imran Khan, who does nothing but make blunders on this issue,” he said, adding that “the people of Pakistan and Kashmir cannot afford an incompetent prime minister and the only way to regain the right direction on the Kashmir issue is to oust Imran Khan”.

Bilawal said that the CEC has urged the federal government to ensure supply of vaccines to the citizens for the prevention of coronavirus and also rejected a possible amendment to the Pakistan Penal Code for taking action against critics of the armed forces.

The CEC also expressed concern over the issue of hidden cameras in the polling booths during the Senate elections and described this act as equal to rigging the Senate elections.

Talking about the census issue, Bilawal said that the PPP has been expressing its objections and concerns about it since 2017. In order to avoid delays in the general elections and to hamper the democratic process, the census results were temporarily accepted on the condition that five per cent census results would be re-checked later on. Holding a fair and transparent census is as important as conducting fair and transparent general elections, he said, adding that the PPP demanded a clean and transparent census and the issue would be taken up in a joint parliamentary session.

Meanwhile, PMLN’s Central Vice President Maryam Nawaz said in Lahore that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), will make a decision on the PPP's reaction to the show-cause notice it was issued.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Maryam said the decision to issue a show-cause notice to the PPP was taken unanimously by the PDM and not by any single party.

She said eight parties in the PDM were united and committed to their cause. “The struggle of the Opposition's anti-government coalition was initiated to correct Pakistan’s direction as well as to get rid of the present selected government,” she said.

It is now up to the wisdom of PDM’s chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman how he responds to the PPP’s reaction on the show cause notice, she said, adding that “we will sit in the PDM and decide what to do about it”.

Speaking about PMLN candidate Nosheen Iftikhar's victory in NA-75 Daska by-polls, she said the PMLN competed with the state machinery. “The victory in the Daska by-election is not just a victory on one seat; it is the victory of the narrative of Nawaz Sharif, which will bring a big change in the next elections,” Maryam said.

She said the PTI candidate as well as its leaders and workers were unable to win despite rigging in February this year and attempts were made to suppress and eliminate the PMLN.

She said Daska’s win showed that the people have accepted Nawaz Sharif’s narrative and this narrative defeated the ruling PTI despite him being in London.

She said the PTI candidate went to the Supreme Court but finally faced a humiliating defeat in the field at the hands of the people of Daska. Maryam also said that repeated efforts were made to break the party but they failed to defeat the lions of Nawaz Sharif. She said PMLN is one and will remain intact.

Answering a question about Jahangir Khan Tareen, Maryam said she did not wish to say anything on the issue. She, however, said that there was a lesson to be learnt from what happened with him. “They used his plane when they needed it,” she said. “At that time, he (Tareen) was not part of the sugar mafia.”

Talking about the National Accountability Bureau, Maryam said the NAB had become an institution of political engineering and the government was using it to suppress the Opposition.

“There is no doubt that the NAB is an institution of political revenge and this is why it planned to arrest me on the date of the long march,” she accused. “The PMLN is standing in front of Imran Khan with full force,” she said.

Maryam further said that PTI MNAs and MPAs were suffering from disintegration and Imran Khan’s own people were talking against him. Answering a question, Maryam said she would go to Karachi soon to tell the people what this government was doing to them. She said if the PMLN is successful from Karachi, it will improve the lives of the people. “Karachi should be developed by making it a cradle of peace. Make Miftah Ismail successful if you want a prosperous and developed Pakistan,” she said.