Is Shehbaz-led Opposition ‘the most responsible’ political force in Pakistan’s history?

Shehbaz Sharif believes that the present opposition is the most responsible and organized political force in the history of Pakistan. Shehbaz’s comments should be seen in the backdrop of recent meetings between key opposition leaders. Will a united opposition be able to send PTI’s government to home?

political force in Pakistan

Opposition Leader in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has said the present opposition is the most responsible in the history of the country. Shehbaz made these remarks during a video conference with British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner in which the two discussed various issues of mutual interest. He maintained that the Opposition he is leading is the most responsible political force in Pakistan’s history.

Speaking about the current political atmosphere in the country, Shehbaz said the present opposition was the most responsible one in the country’s history and was playing a constructive role. “The welfare of the people should be the government’s top priority. The current economic challenges are worrisome but the opposition will continue to fulfill its constitutional responsibility,” the PML-N leader remarked.

Shehbaz added that his party [PML-N] successfully defeated the monster of terrorism, solved the energy crisis. “This is the time to move forward, not confront one another,” he said.

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Turner praised Shehbaz’s performance and said that the Department for International Development (DFID) and British assistance projects were completed [during PML-N’s tenure]. He added that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the UK is committed about its development programs in Pakistan and would continue to work towards common development goals.

Maulana is trying to unite Opposition?

Earlier this month, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman visited Bilawal House to hold a meeting with PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari for over one hour and a half. The meeting came as a ‘pleasant surprise’ for PPP workers and voters who saw Mr Zardari in his first political engagement after his release by the National Accountability Bureau on the high court orders in December 2019, ending speculation about his health mainly over social media. The idea was to get united opposition as a political force in Pakistan.

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Though there was no word or press release from the JUI-F about the meeting nor any of the side invited reporters for interaction after the sitting, a statement issued by the PPP suggested that the three leaders agreed on launching a joint struggle, revival of opposition activities and challenging the PTI government on different fronts, including proposed review of the 18th Amendment and formation of the National Finance Commission (NFC).

Shehbaz; establishment’s blue-eyed man?

Shehbaz is long known for his pro-establishment views in his party. There have been some reports suggesting his differences with Nawaz and Maryam over the nature of the party’s relationship with the country’s powerful establishment. It is yet to be seen whether Shehbaz will lead any anti-government campaign after Eid or not.

“Government shall complete its tenure”

Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan has said that divided opposition knows that the incumbent government will complete its constitutional term. He said that opposition’s political contacts, long march, and no-confidence motions have embarrassed Pakistan in-front of the world.

Reacting to a meeting between Opposition Leader of National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, Fayyaz-ul-Hassan said that the meeting was, in fact, a meeting between political orphans. The opposition is using the lollipop of APC only to fool its voters, he added. “The opposition is the weakest political force in Pakistan,” he maintained.

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Fayyaz-ul-Hassan further said that malice, hatred and enmity against Prime Minister Imran Khan and PTI does not allow Maulana or any other political force in Pakistan to sleep peacefully at night. He added “Two years ago, I advised Maulana to apologize for his political and economic sins and he still has time to repent and seek forgiveness.”

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