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Tuesday May 28, 2024

Amid ‘London plan’ talk, ministers doubt Opp’s capacity

By Noor Aftab
December 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The cabinet stalwarts have downplayed the opposition parties’ efforts to do something big against the government, claiming they lack the capacity do so.

Sources said a new “London Plan” is in the making because key political figures - PPP’s Faryal Talpur, and Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood, PTI’s disgruntled leader Jahangir Tareen and former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq - have visited London.

“Some members of a Pakistani family, who are also in London, are acting as a bridge between PMLN leadership and Jahangir Tareen. Both parties have so far exchanged a few messages through these members who are hopeful that things would move forward in the days to come,” sources said.

On the other hand, the Imran-led government is minutely observing the situation, and preparing to counter upcoming political moves of the opposition parties.

Sources claimed PTI’s senior members are sending reports to Prime Minister Imran Khan about activities of the opposition parties within and outside Pakistan, adding: “The government intends to carry out another major onslaught on key opposition leaders that would revolve around allegations of corruption and money laundering against them.”

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who was known to be a strong opponent of in-house change, has told The News: “Any constitutional method of change is now acceptable to PML-N.”

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif spokesman Zubair Umer told The News: “We are very clear in our policy that the PML-N wants free and fair general elections in the country. If we want to strengthen democracy then this is the only way to serve this purpose.”

To a question about in-house change, he said that “We hold same opinion about as we had in the past.”

Sources said: “Though PMLN is now considering the proposal of in-house change, it wants, at the moment, to know whether the establishment would stay neutral in the process. It is also evaluating whether it can trust PPP that had backed out of the Murree Declaration signed by Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari in 2008.”

“If PMLN agrees to become part of the efforts to bring in-house change, it would seek solid ‘guarantee’ that the new prime minister would announce fresh general elections after carrying out necessary legislation in the parliament in a clearly defined interim period,” sources said.

PPP leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, in his text message to this correspondent, stated: “The opposition parties have to overcome mutual distrust to move a no-confidence motion. Unless that happens, the idea itself appears to be a wishful thinking.”

When contacted, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umer told this correspondent: “The opposition has been trying to topple the government for last three years and every time it had to bite the dust.”