As the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership has asked its lawmakers to submit their resignation to the concerned party heads, Pakistan people’s Party’s Punjab Assembly members Hassan Murtaza and Ali Haider Gillani, son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, have submitted their resignations to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
However, there is a question whether the PPP will compromise on the government in Sindh—the party has been in power for more than a decade now—to help Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and Maulana Fazl ur Rehman toppled the incumbent government.
Former Punjab law minister and PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said that PPP is fully committed on the issue of resignations and he don t think any party would back down now due to public pressure.
The senators of PDM will resign. Resignations from Parliament mean that we should separate our self from the Senate, NA and Provincial Assemblies.The resignations of all PPP members are ready,awaiting the order of Chairman @BBhuttoZardari Dr. Nafisa Shah@ShahNafisa pic.twitter.com/4stFbCFCpH— Subhan Rind (@Subhan_RBaloch) December 9, 2020
Responding to a query, Maryam Nawaz said that it was a “unanimous” decision of all the parties in the PDM, which Maulana had announced the other day with regards to resignations to be submitted to respective party heads by December 31st. She was speaking to media persons in Islamabad.
However, Aitzaz Ahsan, a senior leader of PPP and a prominent lawyer, has said that Maryam’s plan doesn’t appear to be succeeding. He was speaking to SAMAA TV on Tuesday. The PPP leader advised the Pakistan Democratic Movement to postpone its rally in Lahore on December 13. “Governments are not toppled through rallies and processions,” he said. “The third force topples them.”
Aitzaz opposed the opposition’s move to resign en masse too. “How can the PML-N alone decide this,” he questioned. Opposition parties should be aware that Nawaz Sharif’s narrative does not serve PDM’s interests, the PPP leader said.
PPP’s senior leader Aitzaz Ahsan wonders who is advising PDM on the idea of resignations. Like we said, it’s all drama and we don’t think they have guts to give resignations. #ڈرامے_نہیں_استعفے_دو pic.twitter.com/AUGDq4eQhk— PTI (@PTIofficial) December 8, 2020
The Nawaz-league has now confronted the third force too, he said, adding that the party which favours collective resignations should submit them. In my opinion, he said, the PPP should not go to this extent.
Responding to a question about Ahsan’s point of view with regard to en masse resignations from assemblies, the PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, said that the party would soon convene its Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting and the PDM’s decision would be put before it and everyone would be allowed to express their views including Aitzaz Ahsan.
“What decision the CEC takes would be the decision of the party and also of Aitzaz Ahsan,” he added.
Aitzaz had also stated that opposition’s resignations were not enough to dissolve the national and provincial assemblies, as the ruling PTI needed only 172 members in the National Assembly, adding only 84 members – required to maintain the quorum of the 342-member Lower House of the Parliament – was enough to run the house.
PPP will not resign, a dominant view?
It is important to note that in an interview with BBC, Bilawal said that taking names of military leaders was Nawaz Sharif’s personal choice. It was decided in the PDM agenda to use the ‘establishment’ word and not to take the name of any national institution, he said.
Nawaz Sharif blamed the COAS and DG ISI for ousting him through ‘controlling and dictating the courts’. It was not for the first time that Nawaz slammed the security establishment for ‘political engineering’. On September 20, he claimed that then DG ISI approached him and asked him to step-down.
However, former DG ISI, retired Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam, has said he never asked for the resignation of former premier and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in 2014. “I never sent anyone to convey any such message to [Nawaz], this is absolutely wrong,” he said while speaking to The News.
Similarly, PPP Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari said during the PDM meeting that the coalition should be clear about its goals and should not open up new fronts.
Attending the online meeting – which was held to review the ongoing political situation in the country and to chalk out the 11-party opposition alliance’s future strategy – Zardari stressed that the PDM should stick to a clear goal, as opening up new fronts simultaneously would reap no results.
Political commentators are of the view that the PPP is unlikely to block Islamabad as the PML-N and JUI-F have reportedly plan. “PPP will soon find a graceful exit but may continue to offer its moral support to the anti-government campaign. The party is divided on some basic questions and Bilawal won’t be in a position to take any bold decision. Let’s not forget the fact the PPP did the same when Maulana came to dislodge PTI’s government in 2019,” a source told GVS.
The PTI leaders have already been claiming that the PPP will not support the PML-N’s do or die scenario in the long run. “PPP will never go for the resignations. I can give you my words,” Federal Minister for Water and Power, Faisal Vawda, told Kashif Abbasi on ARY News.