The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) is focused on weakening the incumbent government to get what Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed “an NRO to protect their looted money”. After holding rallies in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Multan, the PDM is baffled. Sources told GVS that the PML-N leadership was expecting a better deal with the establishment after generating public pressure but could not.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says confusion exists within PDM over various issues, including tendering resignations from the assemblies. “If they are really determined to resign, they should do it at the PDM meeting which is going to be held on Dec 8. Nobody will stop them from doing so,” he challenged the 11-party opposition alliance at a press conference on Sunday.
“The PDM is not a natural alliance. It lacks ideological harmony as each component has a different agenda,” he said. He said that the PDM leadership had been invited to discuss the corona-related situations and devise a policy in this regard with consensus but they didn’t turn up.
Senator Faisal Javed Khan also tweeted that the PML-N leaders are not at the same page.
انکے اپنے ہی بیشتر اراکین ان کے ساتھ نہیں- اسی لیے یہ دھمکیوں پر اتر آئے ہیں- کیونکہ خود پارلیمنٹ کا حصہ نہیں – اراکین کو استعفوں کے لیے دھمکا رہے ہیں – لوگوں کو اپنے ہی پارٹی کے اراکین پارلیمنٹ کیخلاف اکسانے اور اشتعال انگیزی پھیلانے سے انکی بوکھلاہٹ آشکار ہے – https://t.co/0gJJSrwtMh
— Faisal Javed Khan (@FaisalJavedKhan) December 7, 2020
The Opposition’s relationship with the government has been patchy since the time PM Khan assumed the office. However, the situation got intense after corruption cases against the Sharif and Zardari families were filed in the courts. An All Parties Conference (APC) was called in Islamabad on September 20 where Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister, addressed the participants and slammed the country’s establishment for political engineering.
However, after holding some rallies and speaking against the armed forces of Pakistan, PML-N seems to be desperate to hold talks with the establishment.
On November 12, PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz said that her party is willing to hold talks with the military establishment, however, only under the condition that the PTI government is shown the door. Her remarks came during an interview with BBC Urdu.
After Maryam Nawaz’s demand to the establishment to step in for a “Charter of Democracy”, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, a senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has asked the judiciary to help politicians initiate a national dialogue to let democracy flourish in the country.
Khawaja Asif was speaking to Asma Shirazi of AAJ News when he suggested the judiciary to play a role in order to end the ongoing anti-government protests under the flag of the PDM.
Political analysts are of the view that the PML-N leadership failed to generate public support for its anti-army narrative which has now forced it to hold talks with the establishment. “PML-N did not get the expected support from the PPP leadership. The game seems to be over now,” a reliable source in PML-N told GVS.
Leaders quitting PML-N over anti-state narrative?
Nawaz Sharif named the Army Chief and DG ISI for political engineering in the country. “General Bajwa is responsible for installing incompetent Imran Khan,” he said while addressing PDM rally from London.
Similarly, senior PDM leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai in his speech had said “though Urdu is lingua franca, it’s not our language”.
Later on, MQM’s Faisal Subzwari said that the silence of all opposition parties against the anti-Urdu statement seemed to suggest that it was the collective narrative of the opposition.
“Rejecting Urdu as the national language and that too from a place located under the shadow of Quaid’s mazar is a matter of serious concern,” he said, adding: “The leadership of opposition should have demonstrated responsibility.”
Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) leader Maulana Shah Owais Noorani demanded an independent Balochistan in Quetta while addressing a rally of PDM. “We want Balochistan as an independent state. Today, Balochistan looks like an underdeveloped area of the country,” Maulana Owais Noorani said.
PML-N’s Ayaz Sadi had said that “I remember Shah Mahmood Qureshi was in the meeting in which Imran Khan had refused to attend and Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa came into the room, his legs were shaking and he was. Foreign Minister said for God’s sake let Abhinandan go, India’s about to attack Pakistan at 9 pm”. Not only the foreign minister but also DG ISPR rubbished the statement.
Some senior leaders of the party have already quitted the party and a few others are deliberating over their possible withdrawal to the Nawaz’s anti-establishment narrative.
Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch has resigned from the party. Former Balochistan chief minister Sanaullah Zehri and some of his aides quitted the party. Abdul Qadir Baloch, PML-N’s provincial president, reportedly took the decision after the party’s controversial decision not to invite Sanaullah Zehri to the recently held Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Quetta.
The News reported that Qadir has confessed to have quitted the party because of the senior leadership’s narrative. “I am a product of the Army and cannot stand by the narrative of disobedience since it would be extremely injurious to the country. I have taken the decision of parting ways with heavy heart,” said the retired General who commanded North Command as Corps Commander in Quetta and had also been governor of Balochistan.