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Tuesday May 17, 2022

PDM, PPP want in-house change but have different strategies

The political pundits are also giving importance to a meeting between Muhammad Zubair and Nawaz Sharif in London before the PDM meeting

January 27, 2022
PDM leaders addressing a press conference in Islamabad. -Screengrab/Geo News
PDM leaders addressing a press conference in Islamabad. -Screengrab/Geo News

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties are agreed on an in-house change but both the main stakeholders—Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)— have different strategies to achieve the desired target, sources said Wednesday.

The behind-the-scene interaction with senior members of the PDM and PPP revealed that the latter insists that once no-trust motion is moved, coalition partners and disgruntled members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would come forward and support it.

“Nawaz Sharif thoroughly discussed this viewpoint with PMLN president Shehbaz Sharif, senior party members and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and then made an opinion that a no-trust motion should not be moved unless coalition partners and disgruntled elements publicly parted ways with the government.

“The stance of Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman is quite opposite to that of PPP leaders. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was the person who had first proposed in the last PDM meeting that they should approach the coalition partners and hold talks with them about an in-house change,” the sources said.

The sources said Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif had endorsed his proposal and then the PDM decided that it would talk to the coalition partners and try to convince them to support a no-confidence motion against the government.

They said Nawaz Sharif was engaged with party members and Maulana Fazlur Rehman Tuesday morning before the PDM meeting, adding “Nawaz Sharif talked to number of party members, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and then he directly made a telephone call to Maulana Fazlur Rehman. It was decided before the meeting that the PDM would not make any kind of announcement regarding a no-trust motion.”

The sources also claimed that the PPP seriously wanted to resolve the issues, including a strategy for an in-house change, name of next prime minister and duration of interim setup and it had constantly been making direct or indirect contacts with Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman to develop a unified stance in this respect.

They also alleged that former president Asif Ali Zardari had fully aligned him with the ‘powerful quarters’ due to which Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman were cautious and even somewhat skeptical about his intentions.

The political pundits are also giving importance to a meeting between former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair and Nawaz Sharif in London before the PDM meeting. It came to surface in the recent past that Muhammad Zubair had held couple of meetings with the top man of the military establishment and discussed the issues related to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

Talking to The News about an in-house change, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said: “We are very clear in our policy that unless we are hundred percent sure, we will not move a no-confidence motion."

“All the PDM leaders, including Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, are of the view that we should use the card of a no-trust motion only when we get the numbers required for its success in the National Assembly. These numbers can be achieved anytime soon but I will not make any prediction in this respect,” he said.

When contacted, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira said: “We have conveyed to the PMLN and JUI-F that if new interim set up is put in place, the assemblies should be dissolved in the ‘shortest possible time. “The shortest possible time can be one month, two months or may be six months. We have to undo many things wrongly done by the Imran-led government.”

Replying to a question, he said: “I have no knowledge of contacts between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif. But I can say political leaders usually talk to each other to discuss political issues.” This correspondent tried to approach JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah but he was not available for comments.

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