News Analysis |
Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister of Pakistan and vice chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has invited Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) for an open discussion about the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). Foreign Minister was in Multan, his hometown when he told reporters that the government is willing to listen to opposition and take in their input.
“I spoke to his [Bilawal’s] father and also to the leader of the opposition Shahbaz Sharif over the phone and I wrote a letter to both as well. In the letter I said I am writing to you in two capacities: as the foreign minister as well as the vice chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf with the approval of the premiership of Imran Khan; let’s sit and talk,” FM told media persons.
This assumption looks more convincing when Pakistanis look at the alliance being established and deepened between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PPP.
FM also clarified that the PPP chairman wanted him to brief the parliament regarding the implementation of NAP and the government is ready to do it. “I want to tell Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari sahib through the media: ‘Please allay your concerns in writing to me. What sort of implementation do you want? What steps should we take to combat the forces that give shelter to terrorists? Guide us, tell us. We will give importance to your input and will try to incorporate it in NAP. But mere statements do not solve problems,'” FM said.
After encouraging Bilawal and other opposition leaders to come forward and deliberate on the matter of mainstreaming extremist groups, the FM noted that India was making all efforts to isolate Pakistan at the international stage. ‘India wants to isolate Pakistan diplomatically,’ Shah told media. He encouraged Bilawal to look into what is going on in the region and give his input to ensure peace.
Chairman PPP came under unprecedented criticism after he issued some ‘irresponsible’ statement against the country. As the incumbent has decided to initiate action against all types of banned originations in the country, the opposition has ridiculed the idea and termed it as an old policy of fooling the world. Bilawal went a step ahead and termed the arrest of banned outfits’ arrest as protective custody to protect them from Indian jets.
Media persons, analysts and opposition leaders expressed their disappointment and anger over the poorly measured remarks of the PPP chairman. Dr. Moeed Pirzada in his TV show urged Bilawal to review his stance as at the time when India is propagating Pakistan to isolate her, Bilawal’s remarks supported India’s rhetoric.
A PTI lawmaker submitted a resolution against the PPP chairman and demanded to initiate treason proceedings against him. According to the details, PTI MPA Mussarat Jamshed Cheema in the resolution said that Bilawal’s statement about the government’s action against proscribed organizations as “protective cover” was no less than treason as it reflected the ‘Indian narrative’. She further said that at a time when the whole world is standing by Pakistan for its narrative of peace, Indian aggression on Line of Control (LoC) and Kashmir issue, “Bilawal’s statement was “no less than an Indian rocket launcher”.
Giving government a tough time is opposition’s tactics in all democratic governments, but not at the stake of state. PPP and PML-N, like always have not only put aside their differences but also the sovereignty of the country for their personal agendas.
PPP Chairman who was apparently annoyed to see criticism against him reacted in a strongly worded tweet. “WTH is a narrative? Is life now a fascist screenplay where if u don’t follow a script u r declared traitor? Screw u and ur narrative, I have an ideology my ideology doesn’t changes ur narrative will keep changing. Read, think, speak & ignore fascist trolls who run this country.”
WTH is a narrative? Is life now a fascist screenplay where if u don’t follow a script u r declared traitor? Screw u and ur narrative, I have an ideology my ideology doesn’t changes ur narrative will keep changing. Read, think, speak & ignore fascist trolls who run this country.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 22, 2019
Analyst Irshad Bhatti believes that Bilawal is compromising on his political career to safeguard his father who is allegedly involved in money laundering through fake bank accounts. It is believed that the PPP chairman is not actually revolting against the incumbent government due to its alleged lack of interest in the implementation of the NAP.
The real reason is the focus of PTI’s government on accountability and its refusal to sign any deal with the former president. This assumption looks more convincing when Pakistanis look at the alliance being established and deepened between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and PPP. PPP chairman had also visited Nawaz Sharif at the jail to inquire about his health.
Therefore, political observers argue that the PPP chairman will never listen to what the FM is offering him since the former’s agenda is to pressurize the government to seek some leniency in the accountability process. Giving government a tough time is opposition’s tactics in all democratic governments, but not at the stake of state. PPP and PML-N, like always have not only put aside their differences but also the sovereignty of the country for their personal agendas.